Goal Number One – Improved Defense
Defense, Defense, Defense. Now, I know, Moran isn’t the best option for this goal, but I do think he offers better defense at first base than Josh Bell ever could. It’s no secret the Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the most horrid teams on defense, and while I don’t think this can be fixed overnight, I’d like to see something better than Bell’s -2.9 UZR and -1 DRS.
We did see with Moran at least a little bit of improvement from Bell with a -0.3 UZR, along with a DRS of 0. I know that’s not much of an improvement, but it’s something. I think Moran should’ve been a first baseman the whole time, but hey, I’m just a writer, not a manager.
Even though Todd Frazier isn’t a defensive wizard, I do believe he can provide the much needed stability this team desperately needs in the field. Last year in 130.1 innings at first base Frazier had an average 0.0 UZR along with a 0 DRS. Not great, but not bad either.
Phillip Evans is going to be Phillip Evans, he won’t wow you with unbelievable athletic ability, but he will be a solid utility man who happens to play first base. I don’t think he will kill you fielding that position, and to be honest, that’s all I’m asking for from Moran, Frazier, and Evans.