Pittsburgh Pirates’ early needs moving towards trade deadline

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May 9, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pinch hitter

Corey Hart

(12) breaks his bat on a sacrifice fly RBI against the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Right-handed 1st Baseman

Corey Hart has been a disappointment for the Pirates so far this season. He’s batting .186/.217/.279 with an OPS of .496. Yeah, that’s bad. His one home run on the year doesn’t help either, considering first base is a power-premium position and Hart has been known for his power in the past (he’s had four 20+ home run seasons). He’s regressed greatly since his decent start to the season and no improvement seems to be in sight. He’s only getting older, and his bad knees don’t inspire hope.

Pedro Alvarez will almost always rest against lefties, but Hart has been just as bad against lefties as Alvarez has (both are batting .100 in 20 at-bats this year vs. left-handed pitching). Sean Rodriguez can occasionally step in at first, but he may be needed elsewhere in the field against a lefty. Internal options don’t seem to be realistic at this point, as Andrew Lambo has been battling a foot injury and may be battling it for much of the rest of the season (not to mention his one for 25 start to the year doesn’t help his cause) and there aren’t good options in Indianapolis (Hunter Morris hasn’t seen major league action in his career yet and the recently-acquired John Bowker hasn’t played in the majors since 2011). A right-handed power bat off the bench would be strengthen a weak spot on the team and wouldn’t cost much. It’s one area I expect Neal Huntington to look into come deadline time.

Next: Shortstop? Right Field?