The starting eight
The starting eight for the Pittsburgh Pirates is set in stone. This is despite it not being the starting eight they thought they would be sporting when Spring Training began. That is due to the visa issues of Jung Ho Kang.
Despite the absence, and potential loss, of Kang the Pirates project to have a very strong offense in 2017. From left-to-right, the infield will be David Freese, Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison, and Josh Bell. The newly aligned outfield will have Gregory Polanco in left field, Starling Marte in center field, and Andrew McCutchen in right field. And catcher Francisco Cervelli rounds out the starting eight.
The only question that remains is how will Clint Hurdle construct his lineup. Last week, I discussed how he *should* construct here. That does not mean that this is how it will be constructed.
Each of the past three seasons the Pirates have finished in the top-six in the National League in runs scored. A good, deep lineup combined with a strong bench should give the Pirates one of the league’s best offenses once again in 2017.