Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.
The Pittsburgh Pirates reached a season-high 26 games over .500 last night, matching their season-high games over .500 from 2013. It’s difficult not to let the incredible season the Cardinals are having cloud some of the success the Pirates are having this year. If this team can make a division series, there’s no reason to think that they can’t compete with any team in baseball. In other notes…
Pedro, Pedro, Pedro…
Pedro Alvarez‘s poor defense was on national display last night, in the form of two error and a contribution to a missed pop up that was as much Neil Walker‘s fault as it was Alvarez’s, but still a mistake nonetheless. These two plays ended up playing a part in costing the Pirates two runs on the night. There will always be two distinct sides of the Pedro Alvarez debate: those that vehemently defend him and his bat, and those that hate him and want him gone. There are very few people that ride the middle ground when evaluating him. Truth be told, the Pirates won’t be able to find a better offensive first baseman this season, and may not be able to find a better overall first baseman this season. They’re stuck with him.
But if the Pirates end up with Pedro Alvarez as their starting first baseman in 2016, Neil Huntington didn’t have a good offseason. There will be adequate first baseman available on both the free agent and trade markets and, realistically, the Pirates may only need a first baseman for half of a season until Josh Bell arrives. There are far too many reasons to part with Pedro this offseason than to keep him. His consistently low batting average, his high strikeout totals, and his horrid defensive play, along with his streakiness, are all reasons to part ways with him. His occasional hot bat is the only reason to keep him.
Pedro seems like a great person by everything I’ve heard and read about him. But when evaluating who should be on your team, whether a player is a good person or not, should very, very rarely enter into the discussion. Pedro has been a great player at times for the Pirates, and frustrating all of the other times. He will be missed by some. But this offseason is the time to part with Pedro Alvarez.
More from Pirates News
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being Improved
- Pittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Bob Nutting, Please Sell the Team
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Free Agent Starting Pitchers Still Available
Welcome back Jordy Mercer
This weekend the Pirates bench received a huge boost in the returns of Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer. Harrison got some time on Friday night and on Saturday, while Mercer got into the game as a defensive replacement at short on Sunday night. While Mercer had been a below average offensive player this season, his addition to the team is nothing but a positive thing moving forward. Immediately, Mercer and Harrison are huge boosts over Pedro Florimon and Travis Ishikawa, who have recently been designated for assignment. Jung Ho Kang‘s bat will stay in the lineup, but having the ability to give him, Neil Walker, Aramis Ramirez, or Gregory Polanco days off down the stretch, as well as having legitimately good pinch-hitters off the bench, is huge for this team.
Around the net
We mentioned the return of Mercer in this post, but check out Travis Sawchik’s take from the Tribune-Review on how crowded the Pirates’ infield has now become.
Sawchik also wrote a recent piece about how the Pirates’ offense has been in sync this second half (hint: home runs have been key to this). Check it out here.
And from Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal weighs in on Kang’s success this season. It’s good to see Kang getting some national exposure.
Here’s to a good series in Miami, which should be a very winnable series with the way this Pittsburgh Pirates’ team has been playing lately.