Pittsburgh Pirates: New Year’s Resolutions For 2021
By Marty Leap
As the calendar flips from 2020 to 2021 we examine some potential New Year’s resolutions for the Pittsburgh Pirates
At midnight tonight the calendar will flip from 2020 to 2021. As we set to embark on a journey into 2021, people will begin to come up with their New Year’s resolutions. So, let’s take a look at some potential New Year’s resolutions for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
We will start with manager Derek Shelton. In his first year as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates the Bucs went 19-41. Finsihing below .500 was not a surprise or a big issue. The team was not expected to compete.
However, there were some issues with Shelton. His bullpen management was, well, maddening to say the least. Anyone who listened to the Rum Bunter Radio Podcast throughout the season knows how I often times felt about Shelton’s bullpen management.
Admittedly, as the season went on Shelton’s management of the bullpen did improve. Hopefully, he will have a New Year’s resolution to continue to improve his bullpen management throughout the 2021 season.
Another New Year’s resolution for the Pirates in 2021 would be to improve their infield defense. Thankfully, this is one that should happen. Kevin Newman will likely slide from shortstop, where he is a below average defender, to second base where he is much better. Cole Tucker, who has Gold Glove potential, will likely be the every day shortstop. The Pirates will also get elite defense at third base from Ke’Bryan Hayes for the entire season and Colin Moran will be an improvement over Josh Bell at first base defensively.
Finally, there is the Pirate offense. It goes without saying that the need a New Year’s resolution to be better offensively in 2021. After all, the team finished dead last in baseball in runs scored and wRC+ in 2020.
As Jeff wrote about earlier this week, there is reason to believe the Pirate offense could bounce back in 2021. The team will also benefit from a full season of Hayes being in the line up, as well as the potential addition of top prospect Oneil Cruz this season. A bounce back from Bryan Reynolds would be a big boost, too.
Happy New Year, Pirate fans!