Please, for the love of God, play the youth
For the Pittsburgh Pirates this season should be all about the future. While they have played a ton of rookies and have seen multiple players make their MLB debut, right now the team remains to veteran heavy.
After the August 2nd trade deadline, if not sooner, this needs to change. José Quintana and Ben Gamel are both set to hit free agency after the season and should be slam dunk to be traded. This opens up roster spots for the returns of Roansy Contreras and Jake Suwinski.
Veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick will also likely be on the move. That should open up a spot for former first-round pick Travis Swaggerty. Swaggerty had nine plate appearances with the Pirates earlier this season, but the team should give him an extended look in the final two months of the season to see what he can do with a bulk of MLB at-bats. The Pirates will also be actively shopping Kevin Newman.
Even though they are unlikely to net any value on the trade market, there is no reason for Yoshi Tsutsugo and Josh VanMeter to stick around. Both should be designated for assignment, opening up roster spots for players such as Tucupita Marcano, or potentially even Liover Peguero. It would also create more playing time for Michael Chavis and Diego Castillo, the latter of which has slugged .573 with a 125 wRC+ over the course of the last month. Let Bligh Madris, who started to work at first base in the minors this season, potentially get some starts at first base against right-handed pitching.
For the reminder of the season, as often as possible, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to have the likes of Swaggerty, Marcano, and Castillo in the lineup. Even though he has already proven himself in the majors, the same goes for Suwinski to allow him to adjust to his recent slump. While Contreras will be on an innings limit, let’s see what he does in the rest of those innings.
Playing the young guys is probably the one thing most Pirate fans want to see more than anything else for the rest of the season.