Are You Worried About Baseball in Pittsburgh?
Are you worried about the future of baseball in Pittsburgh?
Not whether or not games will be played, mind you; I’m more concerned with the quality of the on-field product. PNC Park ensures that we’ll have a team of some kind for the forseeable future, but will it produce any results?
It’s not exactly a new question, but it’s one worth repeating.
The Pirates are committed—for now, at least—to a core of young, mediocre players. We’ve heard it over and over again: The vast majority of our 25-man roster is locked up through the 2009 season. The more I watch these guys, though, the more I start to worry. Do I seriously have to watch Jack Wilson for two and a half more years?
I’d bought into Dave Littlefield’s plan, and while I didn’t expect much success in 2007, I certainly didn’t see this coming. We’re terrible. Is there hope for the future?
How long before we cut bait on this core and start to rebuild … for the umpteenth time?
Tim Dierkes at Roto Authority wrote about “second half rookie hitters who should be on your radar.”
Steven Pearce, 1B, PIT – Pearce and Walker team up for a potent 1-2 punch in Altoona’s lineup. Actually, they bat in the 4-5 spots. Pearce has been on fire in June after a rough May. He’s at .313/.374/.566 overall in Double A. Adam LaRoche probably isn’t going anywhere but Pearce will be pushing him soon.
Neil Walker, 3B, PIT – Walker has been moved to third base. He’s got a .925 OPS this year; there’s no questioning the former first-rounder’s bat. Jose Bautista has been hitting well lately, so a call-up isn’t close. But Walker could get a look in September.
Are Pearce, Walker and Andrew McCutchen the real core that we should be thinking about? Should we be putting together a team around Jason Bay, or around these guys?