Pittsburgh Pirates Hot Takes 4/13/2016

chrisb
Apr 10, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (right) talks with first baseman John Jaso (left) before a game with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (right) talks with first baseman John Jaso (left) before a game with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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It has been a good week for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  We saw an explosive offensive team on Monday and then a lousy base running game on Saturday.   This is a perfect example of why the game of baseball is truly great.  Here are some hot topics that I have surfacing in my head.

Starling Marte can’t be the only player to hit home runs. The Pirates are loaded with playmakers and average hitters.  So far we have seen a productive offense despite only having two home runs.  This is a good sign.  Anytime your leadoff man can reach base good things are going to happen.  However at some point the power needs to start improving to help score even more runs.

John Jaso has been consistent so far this season. Many people don’t know a lot about Jaso including myself.   However he has been a bit of a surprise to start the season.  Jaso is tied with Gregory Polanco for the team lead in doubles.  Despite not starting yesterday he still has a .321 batting average and good statistics to start off the season.  Many fans are hoping Jaso can continue to find ways to get on base and be productive.

Starting pitching needs improvement. If Pittsburgh wants to have any postseason success the starting pitching needs to continue to improve.  We all know Gerrit Cole had a bad first outing but most can expect him to bounce back tomorrow night.  Let’s hope the Nicasio we saw last night was just a bad outing.  The Pirates need consistency with starting pitching and the same can be said for Jeff Locke.  Ryan Vogelsong is making a spot start tonight for Liriano who is out with a sore hamstring.

Michael Morse designated for assignment. As I am writing this article the notification came that Morse is gone. Pittsburgh was paying a lot for him and with the emergence of Jaso the move makes sense.  Juan Ho Kang will be back at some point and this allows Freese to move over and play some first base too.

The series with Detroit will end in a split. Pittsburgh won game one convincingly and Detroit won yesterday 8-2.  Tonight Ryan Vogelsong is making a spot start.  Detroit should score some runs and ultimately win tonight.  Gerrit Cole will show up tomorrow against Jordan Zimmermann and go 6+.  This should be a low scoring game.  Pittsburgh will find a way to score a run or two against the Detriot bullpen and win the day game tomorrow.

All these day games are making it difficult to watch the Pirates!  A series split will put Pittsburgh at 6-4 heading into the series with the Brewers.  The season has a long way to go!

LET’S GO BUCCOS!

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