First Pitch

First Pitch: The Pirates Finally Have a Productive First Base Platoon

First Pitch: The Pirates Finally Have a Productive First Base Platoon

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been trying to put together a successful platoon for several years now. Each time, it has failed to work.

It started in 2011 with Garrett Jones. After showing that he couldn't hit left-handers while playing full-time in 2010, the Pirates brought in Matt Diaz as a platoon partner. Diaz had strong career numbers against lefties, but was on the decline, and didn't do his part in the platoon with Jones in right field. Meanwhile, the Pirates had Lyle Overbay struggling at first base, up until their trade for Derrek Lee at the deadline.

Jones made the switch to first base in 2012, and a new platoon partner was brought in. This time it was Casey McGehee. The numbers against lefties weren't bad from McGehee. He had an .807 OPS with the Pirates in his platoon role. The problem was that Jose Tabata and Alex Presley struggled in the outfield, which led to Jones playing everyday in right field, and McGehee playing everyday at first base. The Pirates had a successf...

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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.

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