One of the big areas of need for the Pirates leading up to the deadline was the bench. For a long stretch the Pirates had a weak hitting bench, with Michael McKenry, Brandon Inge, Clint Barmes, and Travis Snider all struggling to hit. The only other hitter on the bench was either Gaby Sanchez, who can't hit right-handers, or Garrett Jones, who can't hit left-handers, depending on who was playing that day in the platoon.
The Pirates obviously didn't make a trade to upgrade the bench. But that's not to say they didn't upgrade the bench. Very quietly the bench saw a few upgrades -- some due to injuries, some due to improvements, and some coming as a result of moving on from Brandon Inge. Below are the three spots that have been upgraded in the last month, followed by one spot that could still be upgraded.
Michael McKenry was struggling on both sides of the ball this year. He was having trouble throwing out runners, which wasn't a new issue this season. He was also ...
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.