11 weeks into the 2018 season the Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitching staff has had major problems fielding their position
PFP. Anyone who watches the Pittsburgh Pirates on T.V. has heard those three letters said many times by commentators Bob Walk and Steve Blass. But what is PFP? Well, that would be pitchers’ fielding position of course!
PFP is a big part of Spring Training for every Major League team each season. While it may seem like redundant work that most pitchers hate doing, it is vital work that needs to be done each spring.
When teams are doing PFP drills pitchers practice many things. Getting off the mound to cover first base, fielding groundballs hit back to the mound, and getting off the mound to go after balls on the ground are among the things teams practice with PFP drills.
While working on PFP drills during the season is not as common, it is something that Clint Hurdle and his coaching staff may want to consider. Why? Well, because, so far this season Pirate pitchers have a major fielding problem.
In Friday night’s 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Chad Kuhl committed a throwing error and Tyler Glasnow committed a fielding error. These two errors ran the total for the Pirate pitching staff this season to nine. Those nine errors are the most among any National League pitching staff.
As one may expect, these errors have helped lead to the Pirate pitching staff allowing additional runs. According to defensive runs saved (DRS), the Pirate pitching is one of the worst in the National League when it comes to their defensive ability.
|Pitching Staff DRS
As one may expect, the Pirate pitch staff’s fielding percentage is the worst in the National League. The staff’s .929 fielding percentage is dead last in the NL and should come as no surprise since their staff also leads the league in errors. This is something that simply can not continue if the team wishes to compete for a postseason spot.
One sure fire way for a pitching staff to help limit runs allowed is to field their position effectively. That, however, is not something that the Pirates have done this season. An under the radar but simple way for the Pirate pitching staff to improve in run prevention the rest of the 2018 season is to improve their fielding. It may be time for Hurdle and his staff to begin to emphasize PFP in season.