Bold predictions for the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates

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Aug 14, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher

Chris Stewart

(19) makes a throw against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

For my prediction, I’m revisiting a topic I wrote about just a few days ago.  In that piece, I wrote about how Francisco Cervelli can assume control of the catcher position.  I’ve thought about it since that piece, and I am invoking my right to completely change my mind.  I now think that Chris Stewart will be the everyday Pirates catcher by June 1st.

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The biggest thing here for me is defense and working with pitchers.  To reiterate from my previous piece, Cervelli’s career average in throwing out base-runners is 22%, a full 5% below the league average.  Runners will have a field day against the Pirates if this isn’t at least brought up to a competent level, and it will cause Cervelli to lose favor with the analytic-heavy Pirates staff.  Stewart had a down year last year himself of only throwing out 23%, but his career average of 31% speaks volumes.  At the plate, Stewart came in with a slash of .294/.362/.331, but that was buoyed by an other-worldly split against LHP of .486/.526/.571.  I’ll spare you the gory details of his split against RHB but let’s just say it’s not pretty.  If he can get those splits a little closer, especially in .OBP, the Bucs will live with it.  Lastly, Stewart has a year of working with this pitching staff under his belt and that can’t be underestimated.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of our readers’ bold predictions.

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