First Pitch

First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup

First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas over the off-season, looking at each player for values other than offense. So far on the season, both players have put up some horrible offensive numbers. Yet each is getting playing time. Barmes is getting playing time because of his defense. His 17.5 UZR/150 leads all qualified major league shortstops. Barajas is getting time mostly for his ability to work well with the pitching staff. UZR isn't perfect, but it's the best attempt at quantifying defense. It's nearly impossible to quantify a catcher's relationship with the staff, as most stats on the subject (CERA, for example) are untrustworthy.

The trade off for the defense and the work with the pitchers is that on most occasions, the Pirates have what amounts to three pitcher...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribers get access to all of our daily articles on the Pirates and their minor league system, with live coverage throughout the system on a daily basis. Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a 40% discount on the 2017 Prospect Guide. Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.

First Pitch

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

More in First Pitch

First Pitch: Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco React to Tyler Glasnow’s New Changeup

Tim WilliamsFebruary 22, 2017

First Pitch: How Many Wins Are the Pirates Projected For in 2017?

Tim WilliamsJanuary 24, 2017

First Pitch: The Final Day the Pirates Will Negotiate With Arbitration Eligible Players

Tim WilliamsJanuary 13, 2017

First Pitch: The Difficult Decision in Trading Top Prospects

Tim WilliamsJanuary 11, 2017

First Pitch: Pirates Will See Pitching Depth From Tommy John Returnees

Tim WilliamsJanuary 11, 2017

First Pitch: When Does a Player Become Injury Prone?

Tim WilliamsJanuary 10, 2017

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2016 Pirates Prospects