Pittsburgh Pirates: Liover Peguero Needs to Play Every Day

Liover Peguero needs to become a key cog in the Pirate lineup

Jun 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Liover Peguero (60) at the
Jun 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Liover Peguero (60) at the / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Liover Peguero is set to join the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, and the infield prospect needs to be playing a lot

Monday night will be one of debuts at PNC Park for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Former first-round pick Quinn Priester will toe the rubber for his first MLB start/appearance, highly touted catching prospect Endy Rodriguez is set to make his MLB debut, and infield prospect Liover Peguero will make his 2023 debut.

This, however, will not the MLB debut of Peguero who got a cup of coffee with the Pirates last season. Peguero's promotion comes after he had a tremendous minor league season, which included stops at Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.

Now that Peguero is returning to the majors, the Pirates need to be playing him every day. The Pirate offense is in need of help and a big reason a boost is needed is due to the struggles of the middle infield.

So, at least until Oneil Cruz returns, Peguero needs to be playing every day to see if he can help with those struggles.

Following a slow start to the season Peguero started to heat up in May and has yet to cool off. This was a driving factor behind the 22-year-old being promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis earlier this month.

There was a stretch in early May where Peguero went 1-for-24. In 240 plate appearances since then, dating back to May 11th, Peguero has hit for a .276/.342/.530 slash line. He's walked at a 9.2% rate, struck out at just a 17.9% clip, and has hit 12 home runs to go with 15 doubles and a pair of triples during this stretch.

The Cruz injury is a big factor at shortstop, but the Pirates have not gotten much production from either shortstop or second base this season. Pirate shortstops have hit .232/.298/.361 with a 7.0% walk rate, 23.3% strikeout rate, an 80 wRC+, and a -0.4 fWAR.

Second base has been even worse for the Pirates. The team has gotten just a .234/.310/.336 slash line with an 8.6% walk rate, 25.3% strikeout rate, 79 wRC+, and a -0.6 fWAR from the second base position.

So, finding a way for Peguero to play every day should not be a struggle.

Even though he has cooled off since having a strong start to his MLB career last month Nick Gonzales should still be playing regularly for the Pirates. What Derek Shelton will need to figure out between Peguero and Gonzales is who should start at shortstop and who should start at second base, because both need to be in the lineup every day.

There is a scenario where Peguero plays his way into being the long-term answer at second base for the Pirates. It's time to start to find out if Peguero can become part of the Pirate core moving forward. The only way to do that is for him to be playing every day.

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