The Questions Around The Pittsburgh Pirates
By Tom Smith
The Pirates enter the final week of spring training with more question marks, but plenty of answers. One of the question marks coming into spring was Wandy Rodriguez. The left hander gets the start today and we expect to see more of the same—spitting zeroes at the bad guys.
Especially when looking at the lineup…gee thanks for showing up Detroit Tigers. We don’t think this was quite what ESPN had in mind for a final week of spring training, but heh whatever this is a Pirates blog so let’s take a quick lunchtime look.
Starling Marte is going to get paid. That’s the good news. No questions in left field.
Russell Martin looks rested and relaxed. He is providing offense which would be huge in 2014. No questions at the catching position–we love Tony Sanchez coming north as well..
Andrew McCutchen–Executive Producer
Andrew McCutchen has turned into Miguel Cabrerra this spring. No questions in CF outside of how just what stratosphere could Cutch land in during the 2014 season. He was the NL MVP with his worst April ever in 2013–can’t see that happening again. And…. God it’s scary to think about having to pitch to him when he’s dialed in like this–good luck Rick Porcello.
Gaby Sanchez. Everyone’s favorite punching bag will bat against the right-handed Porcello. Fire away with your questions. I think first base is going to be slightly above average this year.
Neil Walker. No questions at second base for me either. We predicted a bounceback season for the Pittsburgh Kid. In fact, we sent him a text after that bomb he hit the other day, he sent a great response…
"Hahaha! More where that came from"
Jose Tabata. All sorts of questions. The first one would be can he string a couple hits together this spring? But the short term biggest question for me is right field for the Bucs. Just not buying the talent out there–I would give Chris Dickerson a shot at this point. I am over just about everyone at this point. Sad shi* in right field and it’s a shame, plenty of reasons to believe in Travis Snider, but I am not sure he can stay healthy. Tabata needs to get a few knocks, regardless whether the spring is meaningless–just hit the ball a couple times!
Josh Harrison. He’s been hitting well. I have questions, but I am alone when it comes to my lack of faith in JHay, so we will carry on and leave that for another day. It’s not like the Pirates have a better option right now. The guy can pitch for God sakes, so I think I need to lay off him for now.
Jordy Mercer. No questions at shortstop this year.
Wandy has answered a lot of questions. The rotation was a question mark, but I see promise now actually.
Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts as St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) rounds the bases after hitting a 2-run home run during the second inning in game five of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Gerrit Cole-BAMF. How good can this guy get this year? We say really, really good. Charlie Morton-Not quite as BAMF, but still a BAMF. Frank the Tank will be back soon enough and there are plenty of talented arms that can build innings.
Furthermore, we will take the time to announce that we are fully on board as the official Edinson Volquez fanclub. I will be writing about it as soon as I possibly can. Edinson has been claimed, as they say on The Walking Dead, so he’s our guy.
The Bucs defense is going to get a bit better. The pitching will answer the call, not as good as 2013, but the offense is going to pick up that slack.
God speed to Jameson Taillon. Thats my biggest question. I have accepted the fact that right field might not live up to expectations, but the Pirates offense is going to be better this season. Especially since I wasn’t counting on Taillon to do a whole lot this year anyway. As we said a while back, Jameson Taillon spending five months of the year in Triple-A or God forbid, recovering from surgery won’t kill these Pirates.