Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Takeaways From Series Split Against The Tigers

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 19: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Elias Diaz #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after defeating the Detroit Tigers during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 19: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Elias Diaz #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after defeating the Detroit Tigers during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 19: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates tags out Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers after trying to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 19: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates tags out Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers after trying to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pirates need to go in a new direction at second base

The Pirate offense has been very good this season. The outfield, first base, third base, and shortstop are all providing above league average production. Elias Diaz has been swinging a good bat for over a month now at catcher, and the bench has become one of the best in the National League.

Second base, however, has been a sore spot all season long for the Pirates.

Adam Frazier is the team’s starting second baseman, but it is time for a change. After going 1-for-7 and leaving six men on base in the two games against the Tigers, Frazier is slashing just .258/.319/.371 this season with a wRC+ of 81. He also made a pair of defensive miscues that cost the Pirates runs, with the first of the two costing them the game on Tuesday night.

Entering the season there were a lot of questions surrounding Frazier’s ability to be an everyday player. However, with his play, offensively at least, he earned the right to begin the 2019 season as a starter. He has proven – both offensively and defensively – that he is not cut out to play second base on a day in and day out basis. It is time to return Frazier to a utility role where he is best.

The team could promote Kevin Kramer from Triple-A and give him an extended look at second base. Another option would be to slide Kevin Newman to second base while recalling Cole Tucker to play shortstop. Odds are, the latter of the two is the long term middle infield pairing for the Pirates anyway.

Right now the Pittsburgh Pirates need to be playing with an eye on the future. An everyday role for Frazier is not in that future. Due to this, it is time to go a different direction at second base.

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