Pittsburgh Pirates: A Message to Disgruntled Fans

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Ivan Nova deserves better.

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired the starting pitcher from the Yankees with the hopes of finding himself again after a disappointing first four months, and Nova has done just that. Unfortunately, Nova came to Pittsburgh with the hopes of playing for a winner, and his teammates have not given him that. Unlike the fans,

Nova’s had his world turned upside down when Brian Cashman traded him to Pittsburgh. While the change of scenery seems to have fixed Nova’s career and will fatten his wallet this winter, his chances of playing in the postseason are growing slimmer by the day. Since Nova was a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates horrible trade deadline, by association, he could be the target of abuse from uneducated Bucco fanatics. Unlike Pirate fans who can go cold turkey on the team whenever they choose to, Nova will have to go out there every 5th day and bust his butt on the mound, regardless of whether these games in September mean anything or not.

Felipe Rivero deserves better.

The reliever acquired in the Mark Melancon trade has been nothing but outstanding since coming to Pittsburgh, but no matter what he does, fans will look at him as the other guy in the Melancon deal. Like Nova, Rivero’s had his life flipped with the move to Pittsburgh. But unlike Nova, Rivero was forced to go away from one of the best teams in baseball in Washington and could end up sitting on his couch in October watching his former teammates win the World Series. Felipe Rivero has to deal with the harsh business side of baseball. Tom from Bethel Park does not.

Ryan Vogelsong deserves better.

The Pirates veteran hurler came back from a career-threatening eye injury in May and since his return in late July, has done his job well in 5 of his six starts, but only 2 of them have resulted in a Pirates win. If this is the end of the road for Vogey, as it very well could be for the 39-year-old, it would be a damn shame if he did all that work to get back to the mound, only to have his teammates go out with a whimper.

Steven Brault deserves better.

The Pittsburgh Pirates rookie pitcher has pitched well in all 4 of his big league starts, but the Pirates have won just one of those outings. This week, in particular, was rough for Brault, as he was on the mound in Chicago when the Pirates bullpen could not hold a late 6-3 lead and proceeded to lose the game in extra innings. Brault was also on the bump Sunday against the Brewers, where he pitched five innings of one-run ball, only to have it go to waste and end in a 10-0 laugher.

With Gerrit Cole set to return soon, Brault may very well have made his last start for the Pirates in 2016, and given that the starting rotation looks pretty loaded for next year, we don’t know if Brault will ever start another game for the Pirates. Brault could find himself in the Pirates rotation next season. He could get traded somewhere and catch on. Or he could end up getting hurt or falling apart, never again the make an appearance on a big-league mound. If the latter were to happen, I would have much more sympathy for Steven Brault than I would for Tim from Elwood City.

Next: The GM, Manager, and Commentators Deserve Better