Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Tinkering down the stretch


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.

Tinkering during the stretch run

So it seems as though Clint Hurdle has been doing some tinkering with the lineup and the fielders down the stretch run here. Typically, this is the time of year when you want your team to be playing its best ball, and when you want to be finalizing a lineup that you want to use in the playoffs. We know that the Pirates are a team that frequently tinkers with a variety of lineups throughout the course of a season. But tinkering now? It’s interesting to say the least. We saw Sean Rodriguez, Travis Snider, and Chris Stewart all in the lineup for Monday afternoon’s game against the Reds, and the offense did nothing. Guys do need days off, and pitchers do need the occasional start skipped, but that time usually isn’t now. This is still a great team that can do damage in the postseason, but this is the time of year that players should have been resting up for throughout the course of the year. Just my thought.

Speaking of tinkering, the Aramis Ramirez experiment at first base wasn’t a complete disaster in game one. He didn’t get a hit at the dish, but he also didn’t have an error in the field. If this experiment works, it’s a huge feather in the cap of Hurdle and Huntington. Keeping Ramirez’s bat in the lineup, and adding versatility to this team, is always a plus come playoff time.

More from Pirates News

Fear the Cubs

The Cubs won again last night, helping the Pirates out by beating the Cardinals. The Pirates now sit 4.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central and two games up on the Cubs for the first Wild Card spot. The Cubs have won six out of their last seven games, and facing Jake Arrieta at Wrigley Field should be a real fear for the Pirates come October. Remember PNC Park in 2013? Of course you do. I’d be willing to bet that Wrigley Field would be close to that for a one-game playoff, even though the Cubs’ playoff drought hasn’t been as long as the Pirates’ had been. And we know how Arrieta has dominated the Pirates this season. Let’s hope the Cubs help the Pirates out and Pittsburgh can move to just 3.5 games out in the Central after tomorrow night.

Around the net

In other news, the Pirates will open and close the 2016 season against the Cardinals. They’ll open the season at PNC Park and close out the year at Busch Stadium. Check out the breakdown of this news here.

And here‘s the pre-Monday night breakdown from the Tribune-Review of Ramirez’s move to 1st base. Check it out.

CBS Sports has a story on which pitchers could face inning limits in 2016. The first guy they mention? Gerrit Cole. Check the story out here.

Here’s hoping the Cubs sweep the Cardinals tomorrow, and our Pittsburgh Pirates take care of business against the Reds, hopefully moving the Buccos to within 3.5 games of the Cardinals in the NL Central.