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The Pirates extend their streak of losing seasons


Frobby

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For a while there, it seemed the Orioles were about to inherit the mantle of having the longest active streak of consecutive losing seasons. But the Pirates have lost 38 of their last 54 games to fall from 51-44 on July 19 to 67-82 now.

So what do you think -- are the Pirates on their way to a .500+ season soon, or were the first 95 games just a flash in the pan? Are they better positioned than the Orioles (other than playing in an easier division)? Who besides McCutcheon is a keeper on a contending team?

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Between the O's and Pirates the Pirates are definitely in a better position to have a winning season and win the world series.

Their offense is terrible, but their pitchers are OK. Karstens and Hanrahan are definitely keepers on any team.

I don't know much about them. Karstens has a 4.56 career ERA and is 28 years old. Is he just a mediocre pitcher who is having a real good year, or is he a good pitcher who has figure things out? Over his last 8 starts he has a 6.70 ERA, so maybe he is falling back to earth after a fluky first half? Hanrahan also is having his best year after being a serviceable reliever prior to now.

Most of the staff are in their prime years, ages 26-29. Can they get better from here?

Any young studs on the immediate horizon (2012)?

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The Pirates by a landslide are in a better position. I say that by virtue of the division they play in. There is a lot more parity in their division, and they don't have 2 powerhouses (NYY and BOS) as well as a lean, efficient machine (TB) to leapfrog. In any given year, MIL, CIN, and STL are prone to down years. If the Pirates young players continue to progress, they will at least be competitive. Especially if MIL falls back after losing Fielder, STL continues to be just medicore to good, and CIN continues to struggle as they have this year. Obviousy, the dynamics of the AL East are much different!

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I don't know much about them. Karstens has a 4.56 career ERA and is 28 years old. Is he just a mediocre pitcher who is having a real good year, or is he a good pitcher who has figure things out? Over his last 8 starts he has a 6.70 ERA, so maybe he is falling back to earth after a fluky first half? Hanrahan also is having his best year after being a serviceable reliever prior to now.

Most of the staff are in their prime years, ages 26-29. Can they get better from here?

Any young studs on the immediate horizon (2012)?

Starling Marte had a very impressive AA year at age 22. Looks like a potential impact guy.

Gerrit Cole could be an impact guy pretty quickly.

Other solid arms but generally at A ball or lower. Josh Bell is a nice get but he isn't going to be on a fast track.

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So what do you think -- are the Pirates on their way to a .500+ season soon, or were the first 95 games just a flash in the pan? Are they better positioned than the Orioles (other than playing in an easier division)?
The Pirates by a landslide are in a better position. I say that by virtue of the division they play in.

I think we all know the problems the O's face in the AL East. I was purely asking about the talent in the two organizations.

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In my opinion the Orioles have more talent overall in their organization but that the Pirates are likely to have a .500 season sooner. We have more pieces of a contending team than the Pirates have and I think a skilled, innovative and active GM might have quicker success in "turning around" the O's than the Pirates. However it seems Pittsburgh is earning a solid reputation for their development system, so a Pittsburgh fan could realistically have more hope for the next 3-4 years than a Baltimore fan.

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The Pirates are a deeper organization with better development staff and an easier division.

Besides McCutchen they have:

Neil Walker, 25 2B with 80 RBI and a .750 OPS.

Jose Tabata, 22 OF I would expect him to fall at an avg somewhere between the .260 this year and .300 last year. That could lead to around a .390 OBP and he could lead the league in steals in a healthy year.

Pedro Alvarez, 24 1B/3B This year was lost to injury but he had a .788 OPS in his rookie year. Still could be a superstar.

Hanrahan, Moskos, Meek, Hanrahan is already elite, the other two could also end up being elite setup/closers.

Tony Sanchez, C Sanchez lost his first year in the minors after being hit in the face with a ball and having other injuries. He is the catcher of the future and could end up being Yadi lite.

Taillon, SP Will probably end up being top of the rotation pitcher

Stetson Allie, Also could end up as a 2-3

Gerritt Cole, could be in the majors very soon

Rudy Owens, Rounds up a group of talent that rivals the Orioles recent wave in potential

Starling Marte, OF Had a solid season, could be in the majors next year

Josh Bell, Probably the only Josh Bell to have a meaningful major league career given his potential

Above all, they have a GM who knows what it means to acquire talent and evaluate value. This team is not going to hold on to an overpaid Isturiz or Gregg for too long, and despite their payroll will not let their mistakes clog their rosters.

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