Rum Bunter Rumblings: Pittsburgh Pirates Play (Spring) Ball!


Welcome back, Pittsburgh Pirates fans,  to “Rum Bunter Rumblings”  Here we recap the very best pieces found on Rum Bunter the previous week.  In this particular edition, everyone’s spirits are buoyed by the fact that we have actual games to discuss, even if they are Grapefruit League games.  You may have noticed a new feature on these pages the past week:  game recaps.  We aim to recap every game of the Pittsburgh Pirates schedule this year.  We will tell you what happened, what stood out, and tell you what comes next.  Keep an eye out for these each day of the season.  Now, let’s see what tricks we had up our sleeves this week.

Co-Editor Jacob Misener gets things off to a great start with his brutally honest, but encouraging, take on Charlie Morton and his future with the Pirates.  From his piece:

"After a 12-loss season in 2014, his third major surgery in four seasons last fall and a crowded rotation in Pittsburgh, the future has never been more unclear for Charlie Morton. But Thursday’s outing – albeit with mixed results – was at least a small step in the right direction for the Pirates’ right-hander."

Andrew McCutchen is firmly entrenched in the no. 3 spot in the batting order, but Jon Anderson wonders just how scary good McCutchen’s numbers would be if he had above-average protection behind him at no. 4.  In his words:

"As McCutchen’s offensive numbers have improved (and stayed consistently high), pitchers have chosen to throw him less strikes. They would simply rather let someone else in the lineup have their try at hurting them. But how has the batting order protection been for McCutchen over these last three years? I was curious to see exactly what the Pirates have been getting from their clean-up spot, so I did the research and here’s what I found."

What, you expect us just to give it all away right here?  Sorry, folks, you’ll have to head over to his column to see just how the Pirates’ no. 4 hitters have performed in recent years.  It’s a great read and well worth your time.

Also worth your time would be co-editor Jason Rollison‘s slideshow highlighting the best pitches for each projected Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting pitcher.  Here’s his take on Francisco Liriano‘s best:

"Frankie had 175 Ks in 2014, and the changeup was a big part of that.  The not-pictured-here slider is still effective, with a 20% swinging strike rate and a 40.8 O-swing percentage.  The fact that these two pitches are so close to each other is great for Liriano, as he can mix and match them to keep hitters off-balance without losing any effectiveness"

You should really head over and see the rest.  His take on Gerrit Cole may shock you.

Did you know that Rum Bunter has not only one, but TWO podcasts?  That’s right, Rum Bunter founder Tom Smith had a very interesting interview with Dan Szymborski over at The Rum Bunter Podcast.  While the name may not be familiar to most, his takes are worthy of a listen by all, especially if you put any weight in ZiPS projections.  Head over and give a listen.

More from Rum Bunter

On the other end of the coin is Rum Bunter Radio, the weekly news magazine show that covers the week in Pittsburgh Pirates and Rum Bunter.  This week, we were happy to be joined by Jesse Spector, national baseball writer for the Sporting News.  Have a listen below at the end of this post.

The very easiest way to listen to our podcasts is to subscribe.  If you have an iPhone or iPad, simply open up the ‘Podcasts’ app and search for “Rum Bunter” to see all of our offerings and subscribe to both.  PC users can go to the itunes store on their iTunes application and do the same.  If you’re on an Android, don’t fret, we will soon tell you how you can download our shows using the Stitcher app.

Here is the rest of our VERY best this week:

Matt Bower had a rebuttal to Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review by telling him that the Pirates should pay Mr. Right Now.

The Big Tuna reminded us that the Pirates blacklisted Mark Madden, and for good reason.

Tyler Waite asked a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point:  What will become of Tony Sanchez?

We leave you now with the latest episode of Rum Bunter Radio.  We hope you enjoyed this week at Rum Bunteras much as we did!

Next: Tyler Glasnow is a potential ace for the Pittsburgh Pirates