Pittsburgh Pirates: Looking Back at the 2012 Team and Comparing to 2022
The Pittsburgh Pirates were on the verge of ending their losing streak 10 years ago. Now the team is in a similar place just 10 years later.
The 2012 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates was a significant step forward for the team. The Organization looked to break a 20-year losing streak. It did not happen, but this Bucs team finally was showing something for fans to be excited about.
During the regular season, the Pirates finished with a record of 79-83, which was the most wins that the Organization had since 1997 (79-83). However, the team's performance in September was particularly poor compared to the rest of the season, and it cost them a chance at a winning season.
The Pirates' success in 2012 was due to a combination of factors, including strong performances from key players such as Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, as well as improved pitching and defense. The team's bullpen, in particular, was one of the best in the league, led by closer Joel Hanrahan. This would be Hannrahan's last season with the Bucs before being traded for Mark Melancon.
Could the 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates be in a similar position? The team seems to think so. After improving on their record from 2021-2022 the team started to invest more money into acquiring players. Now, the Bucs have a blend of talent ranging from veterans like Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana to young players with plenty of potential like Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras. If things
The team would make several significant trades during the 2012 season as well. On July 24, 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded three minor league players - left-handed pitcher Rudy Owens, outfielder Robbie Grossman, and pitcher Colton Cain - to the Houston Astros for left-handed starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who was 33 years old at the time of the trade, had spent his entire career up to that point with the Astros. In his first start with the Pirates, he pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out three batters. Rodriguez went on to make 12 starts for the Pirates in 2012, posting a 5-4 record with a 3.72 ERA.
The Pirates exercised their option on Rodriguez for the 2013 season, and he went 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 12 starts before being sidelined by injury. He returned to the Pirates in 2014, but struggled with injuries and posted a 6.75 ERA in six starts before being released in May.
On July 30, 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for relief pitcher Brad Lincoln. It was a deal that took place during the early morning and at first caught many off guard. While some fans questioned the move due to Lincoln's emergence as a reliever, Snider would end up being a key piece for the Bucs over the coming years.
Snider, who was 24 years old at the time of the trade, had been a highly-touted prospect with the Blue Jays but had struggled to live up to expectations in parts of four seasons in the majors. In his first game with the Pirates, Snider hit a pinch-hit home run, and he went on to hit .250 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 50 games with the Pirates in 2012.
Snider remained with the Pirates through the 2014 season, hitting .243 with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs in 240 games. He was then traded to the Baltimore Orioles in January 2015 in exchange for minor league pitcher Stephen Tarpley and a player to be named later.