First Pitch

First Pitch: How Can the Pirates Improve Their Defense in 2017?

Andrew McCutchen was the worst defensive center fielder in 2016. Photo Credit: David Hague
First Pitch: How Can the Pirates Improve Their Defense in 2017?

It's pretty obvious that the Pirates need to upgrade their pitching this off-season. Their starting rotation under-performed on a widespread level in 2016, with almost every starting pitcher falling short of his projections. Most of the relievers also struggled, which is a bad combination. As a result, the Pirates went from 697 runs scored last year to 729 this year on offense, but went from 596 runs allowed to 758 this year.

There are some basic principles here that don't speak well about the 2016 season. The offense improved by 32 runs over last year, but the pitching allowed 162 additional runs. Aside from the fact that giving up more runs than you score is a recipe for a losing season, and they accomplished both of those tasks, seeing a net swing of -130 runs in one season is pretty...

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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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