Before the baseball season begins, we take a look at what the national baseball publications think of the Pittsburgh Pirates. You know what I am talking about–those sexy, glossy magazines that catch your eye at the airport, set you back eight bucks and then put you to sleep later as you are bumped and poked on the airplane. At the end of the season, we look back at how accurate each one was. We are going to keep this review by Lindy’s brief because we are in Sin City and need to spend more time at the sports book this week.
Bottom line: Lindy’s predicts that the Pirates will finish in third place in the National League Central Division in 2014. The Cardinals get the top spot and the Reds are predicted second with the Brewers fourth.
Some of the highlights from the magazine’s preview include Building Block Gerrit Cole and Scout’s Take which talks about the worst thing the Colorado Rockies ever did was firing Clint Hurdle. The starting pitching is jabbed for not going deep into games in 2013 and there is a line about Hurdle needing a 14-man staff if the rotation doesn’t get more innings this season.
Starters: ”….the one to count on is (Wandy) Rodriguez….who could deliver 175 innings if his left arm is sound.”
For us, Rodriguez is the huge question unknown. His left arm is something the Pirates seem to be riding on big time for 2014. Rodriguez has logged over 175 innings five times in his career. (We had to check that) Before last year, he was a very sound pitcher, but in 2014, he will be in his age 35 season and 175 innings seems like a stretch.
Finally, the 2014 projections actually have Wandy with 202 innings pitched which would trail only their projection of 210 innings from Cole. The offense is there in Lindy’s projections which include 34 homers for Pedro Alvarez, 25 for Andrew McCutchen and 19 for Neil Walker.