Jump to content

Just how bad is the Pirates' offense?


sakata_catching

Recommended Posts

Pretty damn bad. Maybe historically so.

As of today, the Pirates are on pace to finish the season like this...

RS	RPG	Lg RPG	%Lg	AVG	OBP	SLG	OPS+	HR	SB471	2.91	4.6	.71	.218	.268	.349	72	132	72

...which would make them less prolific than the 2010 Seattle Mariners who finished at...

RS	RPG	Lg RPG	%Lg	AVG	OBP	SLG	OPS+	HR	SB513	3.17	4.47	.709	.234	.298	.338	78	100	147

(An interesting run-down of the 10 worst offenses of all time is here.)

They're also on pace to K as a team nearly 1400 times. In the past week, they've struck out 12 (vs. Verlander), 17 (vs. Scherzer) and 13 (vs. R.A. Dickey[!]) times. Craig Calcaterra had a nice line in the Hardball Times game recaps today:

The Pirates offense is like some weird scientific control group or something. A time trial. They're setting the bogey for every pitcher in baseball, and there's something damn noble about that.

There is of course some underlying BABIP weirdness, esp. with Alvarez and Tabata, that I expect will sort itself out, and Cutch will remain his normal, awesome self. But there's only so much normalization you can expect from guys like Barmes, Barajas, McLouth, G. Jones and McGehee.

The most incredible thing about all this is that they're still hovering just below .500, thanks in large part to James McDonald and Erik Bedard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

James McDonald might be spoken of in the same breath as Cole Hamels or Matt Cain by the end of the year. Not elite but one of the best. He is truly sick.

I think some of the young guys will get better, and the offense will improve when Marte is brought up, but I don't know if there is any replacement for the mediocrity that is Jones, McGehee and Barmes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of my friends and family are Pirates fans, so the last few years I've heard nothing but how the Pirates young guys are better than the Orioles young guys, the Pirates are going to finish better than the Orioles, etc. The only thing I've gotten to rib them on was their acquisition of Derek Lee. I root for them to be good again because they're an underdog, I see a number of games in Pittsburgh, and, in many ways, they're similar to the Orioles, but I don't see a whole lot of hope for their future.

Alvarez and Tabata appear to be huge busts, Neil Walker only slightly better, and most of thier minor league hitting is, in my opinion, either overrated (Starling Marte) or never deserved to be rated in the first place (nearly everyone else). They do have a few nice pitching prospects and James McDonald seems to have finally put it all together, but unless they find some serious offense they're not going anywhere. Even if McCutcheon turns into Barry Bonds II and the pitching all develops, I don't think there's ever been a team to field 7 replacement level batters and be competive. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the team sets records for least runs scored in modern baseball, they are that bad right now. If they played in either the AL East or NL East they wouldn't be close to .500 so I'll take that with a grain of salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alvarez and Tabata appear to be huge busts, Neil Walker only slightly better, and most of thier minor league hitting is, in my opinion, either overrated (Starling Marte) or never deserved to be rated in the first place (nearly everyone else). They do have a few nice pitching prospects and James McDonald seems to have finally put it all together, but unless they find some serious offense they're not going anywhere.

I think it's probably too early to write off either Alvarez or Tabata as busts, but their ceilings have certainly taken big hits over the past year. (Not really sure how high Tabata's was to begin with.) Like the O's a few years ago, their system is full of high-ceiling arms, but we've seen how that can turn out, and Huntington is seemingly in a position where he'll have to deal from that surplus to upgrade the offense. (Cole, Taillon and Heredia aren't going anywhere though.) It seems inevitable that Bedard, Burnett and Hanrahan will be shopped vigorously in July as well. All churn, no butter.

If they played in either the AL East or NL East they wouldn't be close to .500 so I'll take that with a grain of salt.

But they don't, so I'm not sure why this is being used as a yardstick. They only have to be as good as their division, perennially one of the worst in baseball, which is what makes this 20-year run all the more absurd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alvarez is getting the Wieters treatment right now. I believe he was probably rushed the big leagues, but they will eventually get an above average 3B with 25-30 HR potential. Tabata may never be more than average but he is still very young.

Walker can be an above average to all-star level 2B, if you have watched any of their games you would see he has been extremely unlucky.

That said, the approaches are dismal right now and they clearly need a new message. Maybe a new hitting coach.

You also might say the future is bleak but they are 3 games under .500 with a historically bad offense; imagine if they were hitting. The future also holds Taillon (a projected top 10 pitcher), Cole, Owens and Matter, as well as this years pick. Their pitching alone could make them a threat in a weak NL Central.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Update: the Pirates have scored 66 runs over their past 8 games, during which they've gone 7-1. The pitching is holding up and they're currently enjoying sole possession of first place in the NL Central. Fangraphs has a piece on their offensive surge here.

I really thought this team was dead in the water after the embarrassing showing they put on at OPACY last month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...