Spring Training Update: Season Previews Abound

With a week left until the first fastball leaves Roy Oswalt’s hand, I figured I’d take one last look at what we Pirates fans are facing. Is it going to be another long 162 games?
Instead of waxing pessimistic about the black and gold, I’ll play the role of RSS feed aggregator and bring you this off-season’s Most Valuable Posts from around the blogosphere as a sort of review preview.
As an aside: If you’ve read anything I’ve missed unconscionably, feel free to throw up a link in the comments.

I’ll lead with a comprehensive look at the numbers: Pat from WHYGAVS has a multi-part preview running taking a look at—appropriately—“what needs to happen for the Pirates to be good in 2007.”
His thoughts, in short:

  • Chris Duffy must be a consistent offensive contributor
  • One of the Jose’s must step up on offense.
  • We must get 2003-2004 Craig Wilson level performance out of whoever plays right field.
  • Jason Bay must continue to produce at a high level.
  • Freddy Sanchez must do a reasonable impression of his 2006 self.
  • The four pitchers at the top of our rotation must not get hurt.
  • The four pitchers at the top of our rotation must improve considerably on their 2006 seasons.
  • The bullpen must find a way to replace Mike Gonzalez and the Salomon Torres innings we potentially lose with him at closer.
  • Jack Wilson must play well in the field and be a reasonable offensive player (as opposed to the bad one he normally is).
  • Adam LaRoche must adapt to PNC Park and at least approach the power numbers he put up last year.

Pat proposed his series as a feature to complement Charlie’s community projections. The frequent commentors over at Bucs Dugout all weighed in with their own two cents, putting together a few dollars’ worth of pre-season estimations. Will Jason Bay slug .564? Only time will tell.
Since Pirates fans are such a depressing lot, Matt from Wait ‘Til Next Year put together an “Optimistic Look at the 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates.” His disclaimer:

This is not for Bob Smizik. This is for the Pirate fan that needs something to hope for. This is for the 12-year-old boy that loves Jack Wilson and constantly begs his parents to take him to PNC Park, despite the fact that he has never known the Pirates to be anything more than a Jay Leno joke.

Steve from The Parrot puts together a creative metaphor, equating wins and losses to “Steak or Dog Food.” A teaser:

As I said, so many negative results (dog food) creates the expectation of more, and the hope for and anticipation of positive results (steak). The whole system has to be changed, from a new bank to better cooks. Until then, expect lots of Iams.

Of course, there’s the work we did here at Lumber Co. and Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable.  I wasted a good bit of time trying to use ZiPS to pick the NL Central Division’s winner.  That study was brought on by the reader response to two separate roundtables.  For what it’s worth, of the ten bloggers who weighed in with their thoughts, none picked the Pirates to finish any higher than third.
More digestable were the “Ten Things I Need to Know about the Pirates.”
One of the Devil Rays’ announcers made the comment of the year on the radio broadcast of Sunday’s game. “The Pirates have stickers all over their ballpark saying ‘We Will.’ ‘We Will’ what? Fill in the blank.”
Only seven days left until his question’s answered.

Share This Article

Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable #26

Next Story »

Spring Training Update: Bucs vs. Twins, Rays

Latest Analysis

  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    10 hours ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    1 day ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    2 days ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    2 days ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    2 days ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    3 days ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement