3 Takeaways From Sloppy Series Loss At Wrigley Field

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 11: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs is tagged out at home plate by by Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field on April 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 11: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs is tagged out at home plate by by Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field on April 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 08: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates moves to the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the home opening game at Wrigley Field on April 08, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 08: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates moves to the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the home opening game at Wrigley Field on April 08, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Shortstop is a mess

Entering the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates had one major hole – shortstop. All the team did to address the position was by trading for Gonzalez, who had largely been a career minor leaguer. In a shocking development, failing to effectively address the position is not going well for the Pirates.

Gonzalez has always been touted as a plus defender at the shortstop position throughout the minor leagues. However, his defense has not lived up to his reputation so far this season. Through the team’s first five series Gonzalez already has three errors to go along with a -1 DRS at shortstop.

On top of his defensive woes, Gonzalez has struggled at the plate. This, unlike his poor defense, comes as no surprise. Gonzalez is slashing just .188/.278/.281 with a wRC+ of 36, lowering his career slash to .258/.293/.381 with a 74 wRC+ in 171 career games.

His primary backup is Newman. Prior to being placed on the IL on Thursday, Newman was slashing just .273/.333/.364 for the Bucs. Led by a -1 DRS and his three error game on Monday, his defense has been abysmal.

Failing to further address shortstop was an inexcusable move. Especially when a player like Jose Iglesias, who has routinely been a 2+ WAR player in his MLB career, signed a minor league deal with the Reds. There is no way around it, the Pirates front office dropped the ball with shortstop this offseason.

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