Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DrB's 2016 NL Power Rankings: #7 Pirates

#7 Pittsburgh Pirates

Starting Position Players:  C Francisco Cervelli, 1B John Jaso/Michael Morse, 2B Josh Harrison, 3B Jung-Ho Kang, SS  Jordy Mercer, LF Starling Marte, CF Andrew McCutchen, RF Gregory Polanco.

Starting Rotation:  Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke, Jonathan Niese, Ryan Vogelsong.

Bullpen:  Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Arquimedes Caminero, Neftali Feliz, Juan Nicasio, Rob Scahill.

Bench:  C Chris Stewart, IF/OF Sean Rodriguez, IF Pedro Florimon, OF?

The Pirates may have the best OF in baseball and Giants fans need no convincing of Kang's ability to hit.  The rest of the IF looks a bit shaky.  The rotation after Liriano does not look like it belongs to a contending team, but the Pirates seem to know how to get the most out of mediocre starters.  Vogey is probably just a placeholder for Tyler Glasnow.  Jameson Taillon and his 100 MPH FB could be ready by midseason if he can stay healthy.  The top 4 in the bullpen are solid, but the last 3 are shaky.  The bench looks thin and is not helped by the platoon situation at 1B.  Look for Josh Bell to take over 1B before the season ends.

The Pirates have a solid, contending team, but I'm not sure they have the pitching to make the final top 6 in the playoffs, so they are #7.

1 comment:

  1. I look to the Pirates to regress. They have an excellent OF. Two good pitchers. A great bullpen. But I think they lost more than they replaced this offseasson coupled with they over-achieved by 5 games last year according to Baseball-REference:

    Cubs +7
    Braves +6
    Pirates +5
    Cards +4
    Bums +3
    Padres +2
    Mets +1
    Phillies +1
    D-Backs -3
    Marlins -3
    Rockies -3
    Brewers -4
    Giants -5
    Reds -5
    Nationals -6

    So I look to them to be the Giants of 2016. An otherwise good team that's not going to the playoffs because of rotation problems.