Pirates Prospects Daily: With First Base Improved, What’s The Next Biggest Hole?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a point of emphasis in improving one of their biggest holes from 2022, first base. Through trades, waiver claims and a free agent pickup, the Pirates addressed their statistically worst position, and invested into making it better.

With that in mind, what could the Pirates look to add the rest of the offseason? I took a look at FanGraphs and pulled up how each position performed when it comes to WAR and wRC+ and how they ranked against the rest of the league.

Position WAR (Rank) wRC+/xFIP (Rank)
Catcher 0.1 (21st) 52 (30th)
First Base -3.0 (30th) 59 (30th)
Second Base 0.6 (25th) 78 (24th)
Third Base 3.2 (19th) 90 (23rd)
Shortstop 2.5 (16th) 92 (15th)
Left Field 1.9 (16th) 85 (27th)
Center Field 3.2 (13th) 119 (5th)
Right Field 0.0 (28th) 81 (28th)
Designated Hitter -0.9 (25th) 84 (28th)
Starting Pitcher 7.7 (23rd) 4.26 (22nd)
Relief Pitcher 1.8 (24th) 4.45 (29th)

A deeper team thanks to the additions of Ji-Man Choi, Carlos Santana, and potentially Lewin Diaz should in turn help the DH position by default and that’s even before they look at potentially bringing in anyone else.

Catcher was the worst producing unit when it comes to wRC+, and while it remains the only hitting position where defense is still the priority, finishing last isn’t ideal. Despite lack of production offensively, they still finished on the plus side of WAR. It isn’t a big secret that the Pirates would like to bring back Roberto Perez, as a bridge to a couple of their top prospects.

That could certainly help both categories.

Center field was a strength for the team, backed by Bryan Reynolds, but even with his help the outfield as a whole ranked in the bottom third in both WAR (3.2, 24th) and wRC+ (91, 23rd). The sheer number of options the Pirates have currently on their 40-man makes it seem that bringing in outside help is unlikely, unless the right player comes along.

That could be the same with second base, although it graded as one of their worst positions, there is a current log jam on the 40-man that could prevent them from adding to the roster.

The next logical choice would be for the pitching staff. The bullpen should get some added help internally with David Bednar an offseason to get back to 100%, plus the return of Yerry De Los Santos and Colin Holderman. That’ll go a long way in helping a bullpen that finished 29th in xFIP last season.

The Pirates took a good step forward, committing over $10 million to fix one of their biggest glaring holes. Ben Cherington said that the payroll should go up this season so there is more work to be done. In year four of their ‘rebuild’ this is the time that would be perfect to dip into free agency and spend to sure up some weak spots, with them saving on the cost-effective prospects on pre-and-early arbitration deals.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**Ethan Hullihen’s latest Pirates Business feature recaps the payroll after the recent additions, and looks at the new MLB Draft lottery.

**Oneil Cruz has made his debut in winter ball. John Dreker has all of the latest updates.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony wrote about players who are returning from long injuries in 2023.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

Ethan Hullihen had a look at the Pirates’ odds of getting the first overall pick in the 2023 draft, while explaining the new MLB Draft lottery.

Pirates Business: A Primer for the 2023 MLB Draft Lottery

First Pitch goes up on Monday at noon, recapping the previous week and previewing what we’ve got ahead on the site this week.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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1979andCounting

What’s the next biggest hole? Umm, that’s a layup…..It’s obviously Catcher.
We have 2 catchers on the 40-man……Endy and Ali Sanchez. Sanchez has 13 career MLB AB’s. I expect a Catcher to be signed or traded for no later than the winter meetings Dec 4 – 7. You just can’t have a bigger hole to fill than this one now that 1b has been handled.

Cocktailsfor2

Hard to believe LF ranked so low, with Ben Gamel and Jake Marisnick flying around out there like Superman…

PirateRican21

This made me chuckle.

joesolo6181

I guess I am in the minority but I don’t like the first base options. To me, they cry, “at least we got someone that was better than what we had last year.” They still need a first baseman going forward. The two players are older and on the decline. Diaz is a lottery ticket and the Pirates don’t usually win those. So I hope I am wrong and the new 1B’s lead them to the playoffs.

bradlej31

We’re slowly plugging holes to the point where the guy left without a position will play first. Might be Davis, might be Nick G… Nunez… Gorski….Mitchell.

MB21

Yes, it is “at least we got someone better…” I guess that’s better than getting someone NOT better or sticking with the radically negative players run out on the field last year. I don’t think Diaz makes the team because he is not a lottery ticket but unfortunately a post-prospect that would fit the NOT better mold. I am encouraged that at least there are rumors of talks with other real players that might help avoid the black hole of the past few seasons. But again – show us the money! I’ll believe in a decent team when I see it.

redwards60

I like the signing of Santana, as an improvement defensively at first base while also providing veteran leadership and winning attitude. I did not and do not like the signing of Choi – unless he hits, he doesn’t offer much else. I would have liked to see the Pirates move Michell and/or Sabol to first base as younger and far less expensive inhouse options.

Danatural08

FWIW Choi appears to be the slightly better defender at 1st than Santana, tho not a big difference.

I know there’s several upset at the 1st base approach, but i kinda like bringing in 2 players (Choi & Santana) that were recently batting 4th or 5th regularly for contending teams. Maybe their triple slash line doesn’t look like Trout’s, but contending teams have counted on these guys for production. That takes pressure off the young guys a little bit. I can’t remember the last productive cleanup hitter the Bucs have had, as most of the good bats have been batting 1-3 in the lineup.

On the offense side, I’d still like to see them add an interesting OF’er & bring back Perez. Maybe trade one or 2 of the 3 fringe OF (CSN, Swag, Mitchell) on the 40 man for an interesting arm (change of location or salary relief)

Anthony

I would be up for something like that, although I wouldn’t punt on the C position. If they think they can get good value there (FA or trade), then get your guy. You can always trade a good catcher if/when your prospect is “ready”.

EightMenOut

The pessimism in the comments is rather entertaining, it is as if most people want the ball club to fail, or it will take away the fun of being negative. Or maybe it is just cool not to be optimistic. Last year’s WAR has little to do with the WAR going forward when you look at the starting lineup for most of April last year. Last year players were still developing from AA to AAA to MLB, this year a lot of the players are MLB ready in April. Last year the starting pitching was a mess in April, this year it won’t be. We spend about 7 million on a good first baseman and a good person for leadership, and the front office gets criticism for it. The rebuild allows low spending to start and then increase the spending going forward, but most just say it will always be low spending, without seeing the spending already is going up.  This is a prospect site, and many comments last year are about letting the prospects play, and how stupid management is for playing low WAR veterans and waiver pick ups, and now the comments are about the prospects not being good enough based on this stat or that stat, and we are too cheap to go get veterans to start ahead of them.  It’s ok to be optimistic when you start seeing signs of progress.

Anthony

But it’s so easy to be negative LOL

john.benedict

C Rodriguez
1B Nunez
2B Gonzo
3B Triolo
SS Bae
LF CSN
CF Swaggerty
RF Gorski
DH Sabol
DH Alverez

Let’s get by with a little help from our kids

Scrappy2499

Where did Reynolds go to??

john.benedict

Its a projected AAA line up by position.

No need to spend 6-10M on catcher position OR ANY OTHER for 3 month of service
HENCE, “Lets get by with a litttle help from our kids”

Scrappy2499

didn’t realize it was projecting a AAA line up, thought you were talking about the Pirates line up.

ArkyWags

That lineup would lose 110. The obsession with “Play Da Kidz!” knows no limits.

john.benedict

Disagre would lose 113
Thats a PROJECTED AAA LINE UP BY POSITION

redwards60

Any lineup the cheap Pirates put out there in 2023 will likely lose 100 games or more. I’d rather do it with kids who may actually improve.

ArkyWags

Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they will improve. Or even have a good chance to!
I know the above team was made in jest (no Cruz, Reynolds, Hayes). But a common line of thinking here seems to be to give any guy in the farm system a good chance to win a MLB job. And that’s really unrealistic and won’t succeed.

Anthony

That would just perpetuate the cycle…cheap and sucks

skliesen

I’ll take 100 loss lineups for a thousand, Alex.

Now some of these guys will undoubtedly be good players, but odds suggest many of them will be below replacement level.

john.benedict

Its a AAA line up by position to showcase a couple kids ready to handle the 3 month bridging rather the FA route costing 6-10M to fill the needs

Wilbur Miller

The fallacy here is looking at it position by position. There are really only two spots they need to upgrade:

Runs for — 27th
Runs against — 28th

The point shouldn’t be to get a body that lets you check the 1B box or the C box. That was always NH’s approach. Hey, we have Colin Moran! He’s a 3B! Check that box for the next five years! The point should be to move those two numbers as far as possible.

1979andCounting

A fallacy?? You’re smarter than this…….it’s essential to build position by position in order to get to some acceptable position better than 27th RF and 28th RA. I think you were just trying to make a bigger point, surely.

Wilbur Miller

This really isn’t too complicated a point. The problem with the check-the-box approach is that you decide you need a first baseman, a catcher and a starting pitcher. So you pick up three guys who collectively make you, say, 2% better at scoring and preventing runs, and you say, Yup, we checked all three boxes! Success!!

Except it’s not success. Now you’re maybe on a path to finish 25th in runs and 26th in run prevention. You still suck. So maybe it was a mistake to figure all you needed to do was check those three boxes. And that’s the objection I have to the drunken celebrations of the Santana signing. (The contrast between this move and the Astros signing Abreu is comical.) It does almost nothing to address the team’s problems while putting off the mythical day they really get addressed.

ArkyWags

One item on this that annoys me is that defense is still cheap. If you’re going to roll with mostly the same pitching staff (and that’s happening), the easiest way to improve that runs allowed number is getting better/cheaper defenders and changing alignment. That means moving Reynolds out of center, and it means possibly having a tough conversation with Cruz if he doesn’t improve at short in 23.

Wilbur Miller

I’m not ready to rule Reynolds definitively out of CF. The Statcast #s on him are kinda bizarre. He went from 98th percentile OAA and 46th percentile OF jump in 2021 (and just slightly worse in both in 2020) to 6th in OAA and 23rd in jumps in 2022. His sprint speed remains strong at 75th percentile, so slightly below avg jumps should put him around avg defensively. Players DO have off-years defensively.

Since they seem to have moved on from Swaggerty, I’m not sure I like the alternatives — bearing in mind that it’s a huge advantage to have a bat like Reynolds’ up the middle. (If Castro or somebody else — Bae? — comes through (and later Nick G), Cruz comes anywhere close to what we’re hoping, and Endy and/or Davis succeeds, that’s a massive advantage.)

Jack’s #s are remarkably similar to 2021 Reynolds — 71 OAA, 42 jumps, 84 sprint speed. But we don’t know whether the bat will be there. He also rates 74th percentile for arm strength. Sounds a lot like a primo corner OF to me, especially with PNC’s LF. (I’m still bemused at the prospect ratings dumping on Jack’s speed and glove. A lot like Corey Dickerson when the Pirates got him and Dejan said some scout called him a butcher in the OF. Do they actually watch these guys?)

That leaves Bae. We don’t really know much about him defensively except he’s fast. And I see him as the best near-term bet at 2B, although Castro should get a shot.

Maybe Gorski, he’s definitely athletic and fast enough. But he has to show the bat will work in AAA first.

Basically, I’m inclined to ride it out with Reynolds in CF. See if he can rebound, and see who else establishes themselves. I don’t see that issue at a decision point yet.

john.benedict

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Bae play a lot of baseball over the last two years, wish more posters would spend the $39.99 or moreso get out to the parks as watching them is the only way to form your own opinion

Back to Bae’s defense, he mainly played 3 positions all predicated on movement of others.

Second base
April and May he and Cruz manned the middle 90% of the time. He is an above 2B he’s comfortable there,
quick as a cat and can leap like one.

Center field
Seemed like every game I atttended in Indy
he spelled Swaggerty in CF
He can play all 3 OF spots but hs speed in CF seems to be most logical spot
He’s not a polished CF, speed can’t always cover up bad angles taken, missed catches, couple that with a below ave arm and you have a below ave CF. Can he get better, absolutely, but by no means is he an everyday CF at this time
Suwinski, Swaggerty, Gorski, Scott and even Reynolds minus the arm are all better defensively

SS
Bae moved to short when Cruz got the call and played alot of innings
glove is average at best, range is above average but IMO he lacks the arm to be an everyday SS

He batted 9th and Cruz led off when together at Indy
Bae can hold his own at all 3 of those positions

Anthony

I wonder how Nimmo would look in our OF, probably a 6-7 WAR net gain for about $20 AAV. That’s pretty good value.

leefieux

Yeh, I was gonna say ‘All’ (but for Reynolds) however someone already took that response.

Is Bennie up for the challenge tho, or are we just gonna see more Flea Market acquisitions? I don’t see enough hitters that are 2023 ready and that is assuming some of them don’t turn out to be AAAA hitters, which, as MLB history has shown, at least half will fall in that category.

Wilbur Miller

Ha, if you want to go position by position, all they’ve done is drop 1B from first to second.

1979andCounting

Strong down vote here…..First base is going to be a big contributor this year……Top 10 in the bigs.

ArkyWags

I have to think Santana won’t be worse than what they’ve got. But it won’t be top 10.

Wilbur Miller

You have to be joking.

leefieux

C – Hopefully, upgrading the Catcher position should be put on hold until Endy gets here?

1b….there was nowhere to go BUT up.

2b – Castro or Bae might be an upgrade.

SS – Hopefully, Cruz’s late season surge wasn’t a ‘Sept stat’ mirage.

3b – You guys already know how I feel about Hayes’ offense. Needs to go up, but I don’t think there’s anything in there TO go up.

LF – Reynolds

CF – Suwinski or Bae along with a RH platoon guy.

RF – Suwinski and a RH Platoon OF’er. If Suwinski is our CF’er than I guess Mitchell, CSN or some FA.

DH – Mitchell and Andujar at this point. Are they both AAAA bats, tho?

Overall, I agree with EmJay below. This nonsense has gone on for so long I am almost used to it. We’d better hope our next wave of prospects are MLB ready and not suspects. Endy, Nicky the K, Henry and maybe Gorski (the K2?) are about it in the minors, right? Hoo boy. That may not be enough hitters.

Last edited 2 months ago by leefieux
leefieux

One of my favorite Zep songs from that disappointing LP.

SBRO

Booooo! Houses is up there with II and IV in my personal top tier. Physical Graffiti, I and III in the next tier. Skip the other 3.

steve_zielinski

I have a higher opinion of that Zeplin album, but “Over the Hills and far Away” is a classic!

leefieux

Well. you downvoted me, so I don’t consider your opinion valid. 🙂 🙂

bianco599

What about Coda. That was a hard one to listen to in my opinion. The rest I loved for the most part. I remember how pumped I was to buy the BBC Sessions at the NRM at Monroeville Mall.

NorCal Buc

Weeks ago I commented my desire to see the Pirates sign: Carlos Santana, Jose Quintana and Starling Marte.

I still hold this belief.

Anthony

If you like Marte, then why not Nimmo 🤷🏻‍♂️

NMR

Shoulda traded Marte for Nimmo, there I said it.

jaygray007

Starling Marte is signed with NYM for a few more years unfortunately. I love him tho.

richard.deal

I like the Santana signing. Quintana played too well last year and he’s out of the Pirates price range, unfortunately. If they could get him on a 2-year deal, that would be cool. Even though I love Marte, he’s spent too much time on the IL these past two years. Given they have a lot of internal options for the outfield, I’d rather them try out all the kids they have to see what they got instead of using up a spot for someone that would only be there for 1 year.

NorCal Buc

We can benefit, tremendously, by having three quality veterans on the starting nine (DH). This relieves the insane pressure on a club of ALL rookies.

As Roansy Contreras stated late in September, ‘We need some veteran leadership on the field.’ So,, this FO went out and got a fellow Dominican, Carlos Santana – specifically to provide leadership specifically for Castro, Roansy and the other young, stud Dominican pitcher

jaygray007

Random thought. Pencilling in Suwinski and Mitchell in for LF and RF every day would leave you quite left-handed. I’ll be a bit surprised if they dont add some sort of RH complement to them.

Anthony

Mitchell is not an everyday defensive player, especially if you’re trying to upgrade the OF defense.

leefieux

I prefer Mitchell at DH. I would put Suwinski in CF over Reynolds.

roberto

That would be Andujar and Vilade (though I think Vilade goes back too AAA with Mitchell).

PirateRican21

I could be wrong, but they haven’t made room for Santana on the 40 yet, hoping is Vilade!

Anthony

My guess is that they wait till after the Rule 5.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony
mikeschalke

They both should be penciled in to a platoon IMHO.

Anthony

Mitchell doesn’t have traditional R/L splits.

jaygray007

the problem is, you can only do this on a few positions. there’s only so many bench spots to go around.

I think the solution might need to be adding a full-time OF like Haniger, and then having Mitchell in the minors.

It’s just probably not reasonable to have a 1b platoon and a RF platoon and a LF platoon and a backup C and also someone who can fill in at short.

idk, maybe it’s reasonable. it just probably isnt.

NMR

jay going soft on platoons…never thought I’d see the day! 😉

jaygray007

life is about balance!

i wish it was reasonable to have 5 of them!

jaygray007

There’s also the mystery of what the plan is in Carlos Santana’s deployment.

is he going to be the everyday DH (and we’re gonna hope that some of the statcast data vs righties and babip regression and shift rules turns into better results vs righties?)? or is he in a platoon with Choi? I can see an argument for either. i’m hoping that if he’s the DH, it will result in some more aggressive spending elsewhere.

begs the question, is an everyday DH on the shopping list? or is a platoon RH 1b on the shopping list? are we looking at Michael Brantley, or are we looking at Evan Longoria?

Last edited 2 months ago by jaygray007
Catch_22

Choi and Santana are your 1b & DH. They’re not going to nor should they add another DH with the holes in RF, bullpen & rotation. They’ll use andujar at dh to cover Choi vs tough lefties. Signing Brantley is not happening, in addition to not being in their budget, he’s another lefty.

Choi and Santana check a couple of boxes for Cherington – on base guys & veterans. I think Santana will be good with the ban.

Last edited 2 months ago by Catch_22
Anthony

Yeah, I think they’re good at 1B and DH; let’s not overcomplicate things with limited resources.

jaygray007

i just dont understand why everyone is saying that Andujar should play vs lefties when he doesnt hit lefties.

i did think brantley was a switch hitter, but regardless he traditionally hits lefties enough to be in the lineup so it doesnt matter so much.

Last edited 2 months ago by jaygray007
jaygray007

theyre all priorities lol. I guess “upgrading the corner outfield” is more of a nice-to-have than a requirement, as Suwinski and Mitchell are interesting enough.

if they can add a nice DH (Brantley? Justin Turner?), a high-stuff lefty (i’m a Heaney boy),a cheap layup bridge C option, and some RP help, i guess i’d call it a nice offseason.

Let’s say Brantley would cost 12 mil, Heaney 12, Catcher 4, and 10 mil worth of RP’s. That’s 38 mil to add to the current 52ish.

Totally reasonable 90.

Theyre all priorities! but i guess i’d call DH the biggest “hole” since SP and OF have interesting-enough options and C is cheap and has Endy coming.

Zack

Heaney would be a nice high-risk / high-reward signing. Would love to see that.

jaygray007

his only real issue is Homeritis, and i gotta think that PNC would help with that. but even if he keeps the homeritis, he’s still a heck of a pitcher.

roberto

BC has pretty explicitly said that adding SP is a priority.

PirateRican21

Say hello to Johnny Cueto! 😆. Thinking about it I could see them making this specific move, cheap, won’t block anyone had a good year last year, could teach a thing or two about pitching to the young guys since this is a guy who uses everything he has to get outs.

roberto

And he would be entertaining. Good, I’m not so sure.

PirateRican21

Whip of 1.22, ERA 3.35 WAR 3.5 in 158 innings, I will say that’s pretty good! We might call that an ace around this part!

Zack

I keep wanting to say something optimistic about the competition for OF spots within the organization, but at the end of the day having so many players competing for a couple spots usually means you don’t have a player who is able to separate themselves. Another season like last year in the OF would be rough. They need one or more of Mitchell, Smith-Njigba, or Swaggerty to step up and grab hold of a starting spot.

PirateRican21

Out the players you mentioned Swaggerty is the one we need to step up, the team outfield defense was one of the worse last season (thanks the White Sox for keeping us from being the worse). If Swaggerty bats develops enough and his defense is as good as it’s been written then he will make a huge difference.

Anthony

I’d also add Suwinski to that list.

I looked at Mitchell’s splits, and oddly, he also performed much better at PNC Park like Suwinski. Mitchell doesn’t have traditional L/R splits, which I like, and he finished out last year relatively strong. His numbers weren’t “good”, but he also wasn’t overwhelmed liked some of the other young guys. If he could be the guy we saw in Sept/Oct, he is your DH at a minimum with a possible shot at RF (defense ??)

Zack

I agree. As it stands now, would seem Reynolds, Suwinski, and Andujar will start. Love to see Suwinski build on 2022 and see one of those others push Andujar to a bat first utility role.

emjayinTN

Looking at the numbers and rankings it is hard to believe that this is the 3rd year of this nonsense, and we are still talking about the same needs.

2020 – .317 WP – 100 points lower than the next worst NL Team.
2021 – .377 WP – Improvement, but only better than one other NL Team.
2022 – .383 WP – Stagnant, and better than only one other NL Team.

Thinking we can change the course of this franchise with patchwork 1 year signings of aging veterans is ridiculous. Attendance averaged 10,611 per game in 2021, and the value of the franchise according to Forbes increased. Therefore, Nutting will not authorize anything more than what is absolutely necessary to satisfy oversight from MLB and the MLBPA.

GM Ben Cherrington is following orders and doing the absolute minimum so far this off season. Hiring Derek Shelton and giving him a 4 year contract has proven to be a huge blunder, but nothing changes. SSDD.

We have some excellent prospects at AAA and AA, but they will be late season at best after we try to give away the veterans we are buying right now. Fire Shelton, and Play the kids.

Anthony

The COVID context gets overlooked when evaluating the last three years. The financial impact from the 2020 season was felt well into 2022 and possibly beyond for some. There was ZERO rev sharing (local) in 2020 with partial payments in 2021. This obviously affects the recipients more than the payees (it actually benefited the payees), just check out the payrolls of our market-sized peers or look what happened in Cincinnati. MLB even increased their credit facility (by leveraging against their media contract) by nearly $3 BILLION in 2020 for teams to fund operating losses. It goes without saying that these debts require repayment, which I believe was expended to 2026(?). Debt service has a major impact on your most variable of expenses for small market teams and that is payroll.

Given how lean our payroll has been the last three or so years, I think the Pirates may be past the financial impact of COVID. They’ve also been aggressive in the FA and trade market this off-season, which is probably a sign that there is more to come.

Forbes may be useful for analyzing operating metrics, but I wouldn’t put much stock into their “valuations”. With teams like the Pirates, it’s more “a rising tide lifts all boats” than anything else. The explosion in team valuations coincides with the leveraging of local and national media contracts, i.e., debt. Most of us know the long-term risks associated with leverage. Nonetheless, the debt component to MLB franchises is completely ignored.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony
roberto

“Play the kids” has a nice ring, but you harm their development if they aren’t ready.

MB21

It’s a little demoralizing to see one position at 5th and one at 15th while all the rest are in the bottom third of all teams. One can only hope that there is some improvement from playing the young guys as opposed to waiver claims (and that they actually do this). Otherwise it is like the boy with his fingers in the holes of the dike to prevent the sea from crashing in on the town. True talent would go a long way.

James_Robert5

I’m assuming this guy has one more run in him

He’d be great with the Pirates

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Maddon

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

How could you possibly want to see Joe Maddon in Pittsburgh? The guy is an abject douchenozzle.

AdministrativeSky236

Yeah im a hard pass on maddon here, might honestly prefer shelton over him based on principle alone

James_Robert5

He’d get the team to the WS

His recent book is excellent

He lives in PA

And he’s one WS title from being a HOF’er

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

I doubt he’d get the Pirates to the WS. He’s a shitty manager the game has passed by, imo. He also was at loggerheads with the math nerds in Chicago. I doubt Cherington wants that.

James_Robert5

That wasn’t his problem in Chicago

He was one of the earliest of the ‘math nerd’ managers

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

He left Chicago because he thought analytics had taken over the clubhouse.

Wilbur Miller

I’m leery of any manager who becomes the focal point instead of the team. That happened with Hurdle and it went badly.

James_Robert5

Clint Hurdle was the manager of the Pirates for a long time and he had a winning record overall …

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Yeah Hurdle was a moron.

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, and it wore out dramatically, which is my point. He was the right guy for a while, but he didn’t feel like he needed to adapt when the initial plan stopped working. He got complacent because he became too big for the job.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
James_Robert5

Focal point – wasn’t that Dusty Baker? Earl Weaver? Billy Martin?

Wilbur Miller

If you can find Earl Weaver II, I’ll take that in a hearbeat. That sure isn’t Maddon. He was 15 games under .500 with the Angels. Weaver was under .500 once in 17 years. And Kevin Cash has been a better manager for the Rays than Maddon was.

Baker only became a focal point when his teams kept choking in the post-season. Bonds was the focal point of most of his teams.

And a Martin-type focal point I can do without. Although I’m sure the Pgh. liquor stores would approve.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
James_Robert5

Maddon built a winner

Cash has sustained it

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Joe, is that you?

bianco599

Was going to say the same thing. Didn’t have any specific person but would love to see him in the dugout.

skliesen

Pretty easy to see why they finished with 100 losses after seeing this chart. Clearly there are numerous holes to fill besides 1B/DH.

In order of importance, I’d say SP, LF, and RP is where BC should be focusing his attention next.

I hope the winter meetings don’t end without the Pirates having a new FA SP signed to a multi-year deal. Preferably Sean Maenea.

Scrappy2499

I think Reynolds should move to LF (probably grades better there) and bring in a better CF.

James_Robert5

IMO Baseball Reference has better tools for this type of analysis.

The problem with Fangraphs is that a player with 600 PAs who played some CF, LF, and RF will show up in each total.

The easiest way to see that is by examining the PAs for each of the positions

For example, in CF a few teams have 1200+ PAs which can’t be correct

skliesen

Well done James. But it doesn’t really change the big picture much. Pirates have glaring needs in several areas.

James_Robert5

Thanks Scott

I should have started by saying this is excellent work by Tim and Anthony.

I was just pointing out one of my peeves with the Fangraphs tools

James_Robert5
James_Robert5
skliesen

That’s a great chart. Thanks for sharing James.

steve_zielinski

I’d say the outfield needs work. This applies to the minorleaguers too.

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