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  1. lol. Someone just discovered the Pittsburgh Pirates about five minutes ago. I’ll take the under on that 89 wins. A rotation of Burnett, Wandy, Jeanmar Gomez, Locke, and Liriano is going to be quite bad over the long haul.

    Comment by Cardsfan — May 30, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

  2. They also have the prospects to make a big trade at the deadline. Acquiring someone to take over at third, short, or in the back end of the rotation should help them counteract some of the anticipated regression.

    Comment by Devern Hansack — May 30, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

  3. They’ve looked pretty good against the Cards so far this year. Even Jonathan Sanchez was in line for a win against the Redbirds before he had his start rained out in the 4th. Looking forward to seeing how the year plays out on the field. Let’s talk again after that five game stand Bucs v. StL end of July, early August.

    Comment by Matt — May 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

  4. I don’t mean to be the “gotcha” commenter, but in your Wednesday chat you had the Pirates at 87 wins and falling short of a WC spot. Did something change in the last two days, or did you just give it a more thorough look and decide to bump them into the playoff picture?

    Comment by BookWorm — May 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

  5. I’m a Cardinals fan but sincerely hope that the Pirates finally have a winning record and make the playoffs this year (as long as it doesn’t cost the Cards a spot).

    Comment by murphym45 — May 30, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  6. Answers in a chat are pretty much always just pulled from the top of your head without doing any real analysis. The question spurred me to actually look at their position in a bit more depth, which is why I wrote the post.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — May 30, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  7. Best Pirates team in 20 years, without much competition. If Cole’s stuff begins to play up at AAA, he’ll be an upgrade over Gomez in the next month. Whe rest of the rotation is pitching at a level that they could easily maintain for the rest of the season. The bullpen, similarly, has no obvious reason for collapse. Both the starter and bullpen FIP and xFIP are lower than their respective ERAs, but not so much so that a correction would cause them too much of a regression in terms of wins/losses. As for the hitting, getting a SS sure would be nice, though perhaps too expensive, but they’ve finally filled the hole at catcher that Jason Kendall left forever ago, and McCutchen finally has a stud to play with in Starling Marte. This team should sit comfortably in the high mid to high 80s in wins at the end of the season, and only get better over the next two years.

    Comment by Colin — May 30, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  8. They also have Gerrit Cole and Jameson Tallion in the minors that could be called up over the summer

    Comment by Paul — May 30, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  9. Doesn’t somebody write this article every year around this time? Then in a month or two we get the “Can the Pirates Finish Above .500 for the First Time Since 1992?” article.

    It’s like the sun rising in the East.

    Comment by MikeS — May 30, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  10. they’ve got rotation depth coming themselves. Barring a setback, Gerrit Cole could be in their rotation in the 2nd half. They should look to upgrade at SS tho I don’t know who’ll be out there and so they may just be able to turn to Mercer or D’Arnaud. I think they are fine at 3B with Alvarez.

    Comment by LaLoosh — May 30, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

  11. And, considering that Gomez (and/or Locke) will most likely not be in the rotation ‘over the long haul’, you’re showing some arrogance and ignorance at the same time.

    Additionally, either by intention or lack of reading comprehension, you’re ignoring the fact that their offense has *under-performed*, as Dave makes persuasively clear in his article….that you probably didn’t read.

    Anyways, you added nothing to the conversation. Good work.

    Comment by CabreraDeath — May 30, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

  12. Herp Derp.

    The Pirates have been bad.

    Now, tell us about the Marlins’ new stadium.

    Comment by Cocktailsfor2 — May 30, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

  13. TRUTH, TOLD!

    Comment by Edgar, Teller of Truths — May 30, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

  14. He pretty much explained why this year is rather different, no? But, until they play 162 games and actually do it rather than project it, I’d agree that a healthy dose of skepticism is called for.

    This year, though, I’m betting they meet projections. Because they’re obviously a better team, simply stated.

    Comment by CabreraDeath — May 30, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  15. Talk about Jeanmar and Locke all you want, but Morton, McDonald, Cole, and Karstens could be waiting in the wings to run with the baton if/when those guys falter.

    Comment by ElToroStrikesAgain — May 30, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  16. I hope this doesn’t jinx the Pirates the way you jinxed Sabathia.

    Comment by t — May 30, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  17. Right. All analysis regarding the Pirates should stop and we should always assume they will finish with a losing record…

    Comment by Noah — May 30, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  18. They were 11 games over at the all-star break last year and still found a way to finish 4 games over .500.

    They were 2 games over two years ago at the all-star break and finished 18 games under .500

    I don’t know if it is depth, or scheduling, or what but I’d take the under in a heartbeat at 89 wins. Baseball Prospectus has them projected to 87.5. Even that seems optimistic. Until proven otherwise, this is a team that has a bad history of finishing the season.

    Comment by Iron — May 30, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  19. correction… still found a way to finish 4 games UNDER .500.

    Comment by Iron — May 30, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

  20. We took them seriously last year about this time. It didn’t work out so well.

    Comment by Hank G. — May 30, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  21. Using the helpful and obscure data you just posted, let’s just keep working with the +14 game swings over 2011 and 2012 and assume they finish 10 games above .500 in 2013.

    Hey! That puts them right in that 90-92 win spot that Cameron suggests. 91-71. Problem solved!

    Comment by Matt — May 30, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  22. I agree.

    Also, the mention in the article about the Pirates pace to win 100+ got me thinking. The Cardinals are on pace to win 109.

    Comment by Another Cardinal Fan — May 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

  23. Going to guess you didn’t read the article above where Cameron heavily regressed the pitching performance and they still ended up projected to make the playoffs.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — May 30, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  24. This is off topic, but check out the standings page for the Braves. They’re predicted to win 36 games the rest of the way and have basically the second worst schedule in the NL. Is this right?

    Comment by Clayton Thompson — May 30, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

  25. I agree. Dave – can you compare their position in these stats this year with same time last year, and show where they ended up?

    Comment by DD — May 30, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

  26. The Braves ROS projection must be screwed up on the Standings page. It has them playing .325 ball the rest of the way.

    Comment by BigSteve — May 30, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  27. The Pirates have played more games against teams under .500 than any other team in baseball. I dont think this is baked into the Projected Standings here at Fangraphs, but it needs to be noted before we predict a playoff spot.

    Comment by Darren — May 30, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

  28. “from the top of your head”? Do I have to wear my special hat during chats with you? I thought fangraphs was a safe zone…

    Comment by vikedawg — May 30, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  29. ESPN shows the Pirates slightly below average in strength of schedule.

    Brewers lead the way. Having three .600+ teams in the division will do that.

    Comment by Another Cardinal Fan — May 30, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  30. ???

    Comment by Richie — May 30, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  31. So they went 15 games under .500 in the second half two years ago and 20 games under .500 last year and this year they are currently 13 games over… so at the second half rate of the last two years they would finish this year with something like 78 wins.

    Comment by Iron — May 30, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  32. On May 30, 2012, the Pirates were 25-25. Granted, they had just won 4 of 5, but anyone who “took them seriously” 365 days ago didn’t have any rational basis for doing so.

    You’re confusing May 30 with June 30.

    Comment by DJAnyReason — May 30, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

  33. As a fellow Cards fan (livi in Altoona, 2 hours from Pittsburgh) we don’t all think this way. Most of us are thoughtful, respectful people unlike this man.

    Comment by bjs2025 — May 30, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  34. Dave, good article. I also am a believer in the Pirates this year, but I have a question for you. I am just curious how much weight we should put into this year’s performance at this point vs. the rest of the season projections. I realize that Zips and Steamer take the season’s numbers into consideration for their projections, but it still seems like sometimes the projections don’t adjust far enough for what seems like a change in skill. What are your thoughts on this?

    Comment by Zachd — May 30, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  35. To revise and extend, so its clear I’m not just playing gotcha, there is an actual difference here. At 53 games in 2012, the Pirates were 1 game over .500. At 53 games in 2013, the Pirates are 13 games over. That’s 12 wins in the bank.

    Even if we project the remaining 109 games for the 2013 Pirates to follow the same path as the last 109 for the 2012 Pirates, the Pirates still finish 1 game above .500. Yes, that’s shy of 90 wins, but the exact-same-109-projection is silly and dumb and the first 53 games of 2013 means we should expect a better path over the remaining 109 in 2013 than the last 109 of 2012.

    Comment by DJAnyReason — May 30, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  36. Except there’s no reason to believe they will be “quite bad” A.J. Burnett has been the 6th most valuable pitcher in the NL last year. Liriano is 27th in only 4 starts with 0.9 WAR. Now it’s doubtful over 12 starts he’d be at 300% of 4 starts (0.9 WAR), but I feel comfortable going a bit over 150%, so 1.5 WAR. He’d be tied for 11th.

    If that’s your #1 and #2, Wandy Rodriguez is the #3 at 61st with 0.5 WAR. Absolutely fine. Locke and Gomez are probably both fringe #5 starters, with Locke having a bit more upside than Gomez, but overall with the success of AJ and Liriano, you’re looking at an average staff. If you want to regress AJ a bit and Liriano a good bit, then you’re probably below-average, but certainly not “quite bad.”

    That doesn’t even include the ability to add rotation members (Charlie Morton, a healthy James McDonald, Gerrit Cole or a trade). The pitching won’t be this good in terms of ERA, but it won’t turn into a sinkhole either.

    Also, I’ll take the over on 89 wins and 100$ if you are interested.

    Comment by Michael — May 30, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  37. With this said, I hate the Reds maybe more than any team in the league and sincerely hope they fall on their face. Dusty Baker’s brainless comments (or perfectly normal ones for him) regarding Chapman’s “Whoops,” moment against Nick Swisher were awful. I’d like to see how he’d react if “Oops!” Trevor Rosenthal threw one at Joey Votto’s face.

    Comment by bjs2025 — May 30, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  38. Done. The Pirates to win 90 on the back of AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and Wandy Rodriguez is the easiest $100 I’ll ever make.

    Comment by Cardsfan — May 30, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  39. Did they make the playoffs the last winning season, or was it the one before?

    Comment by Tim A — May 30, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  40. “but Morton, McDonald, Cole, and Karstens could be waiting in the wings”

    Perhaps, but there’s not a lot of “there” there, if you know what I mean. McDonald might be alright, but Karstens and Morton don’t seem to be worth getting particularly excited about. Although league-averageish to a little worse may be OK if Burnett, Liriano, et al continue pitching really well.

    Comment by Jason B — May 30, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  41. I wonder what the results would be if you went in the “way back machine” and applied this logic to the Pirates last year at the same time?

    Comment by Joe — May 30, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  42. Do you know there are another 22 players? And that those three pitchers are fully capable of 7 WAR amongst them?

    Comment by bjs2025 — May 30, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  43. Neil Walker being back is a veritable boost as well. Looking good for the post-season.

    Comment by Jaker — May 30, 2013 @ 3:37 pm


    Comment by Yet Another Cards fan — May 30, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  45. Read an excellent article from Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects :

    In it, it talks about how Pirates pitchers like Locke, Gomez have high xFIPs, but won’t regress as much as everyone would expect.

    Basically, most of the Pirates starters are high groundball rate pitchers (the soon to pitching Morton included) + an excellent infield defense = less regression.

    Comment by Mike C. — May 30, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  46. I don’t see what’s so bad about their rotation that other posters are making fun of on here.

    A.J. Burnett has been rather dominant ever since joining the Pirates last year.
    Wandy Rodriguez has five consecutive years with an ERA under 4.

    Why are these two guys being made fun of at this point?

    Liriano is a wildcard who always seem to underachieve.

    For what it’s worth, the Pirates are having a lot of success the past couple of years with pitchers who have “underachieved” based on peripherals.

    I really can’t think of a GM who has done a better job of buying low/selling high in trades/signings with his pitching in recent years than what Neal Huntington has done.

    Comment by marlins12 — May 30, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  47. I know this is FanGraphs, but the Pirates were 25-25 at the end of May last year. I don’t think these articles were being written on May 30, 2012.

    Comment by Andrew — May 30, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

  48. They also went 34-19 in June and July last year. Why doesn’t that factor into your projection?

    I don’t have a lot of faith in the Pirates keeping this up either… mainly because I’ve been conditioned to think that way. But aside from regressing the pitching performances, it’s hard to make an objective case against it.

    Comment by Andrew — May 30, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  49. Yeah… if you take today’s date. But take, say, the all-star break last year where they were 11 games over .500. Much later in the season so you’d expect the projection to be even more valid. You’d project them to win something like 90 games. But they won 79.

    Now, just because they have done this the last couple years doesn’t mean it is not random. But I am inclined to believe, until shown otherwise, that these guys wear down, lack depth, something.

    Comment by Iron — May 30, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

  50. Tomorrow will replicate yesterday. It cannot be otherwise.

    Comment by Steve Z — May 30, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

  51. Pirates Jinx > Cameron Jinx. The issue is whether the 2013 can overcome both jinxes.

    Comment by Steve Z — May 30, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

  52. Why would you be inclined to believe that, though? Slightly related data point: of the five current Pirate starting pitchers, only A.J. Burnett was in his current role as of last year’s ASB. Why would this team “wear down” because that team “wore down”?

    And, as I mentioned above, why does the same theory not apply to the coming months? Aka if the Pirates are a team that “always dominates the summer months” because last year they went 34-19 in June and July, will they be 28 games over .500 going into August this year?

    Comment by Andrew — May 30, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

  53. The Pirates have held their own during the recent home and home series with the Tigers. Some consider the Tigers a good team.

    Comment by Steve Z — May 30, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

  54. The Pirates made the playoffs after their last winning season.

    Comment by Steve Z — May 30, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  55. I really can’t think of a GM who has done a better job of buying low/selling high in trades/signings with his pitching in recent years than what Neal Huntington has done.

    Some Pirates fans spent much of the off-season calling for or predicting Huntington’s ouster. Not so much these days.

    Comment by Steve Z — May 30, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  56. And the Pirates are 14-7 versus teams with winning records.

    Comment by Merkle's Boner — May 30, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  57. It was actually the last winning season, the one before and the one before that. Those Leyland/Bonds teams were pretty good.

    Comment by JRoth — May 30, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  58. Perhaps the Pirates have played more teams with sub .500 records because they’ve beaten those teams and those losses are contributing to their losing records? It would be interesting to see opponents records with the Pirate games removed.

    Comment by RaiseItPirates — May 30, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

  59. Or if one went in a “way-back machine” and saw that this comment had already been made repeatedly right in this thread.

    Last year at this time, the Pirates started Matt Hague at 1B, Casey McGehee at 3B, and Rod Barajas behind the plate. Kind of a different group of players from today.

    Comment by JRoth — May 30, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

  60. We are family…….

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — May 30, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  61. bjs2025 : or maybe Brian Morris. Ask Valdespin how a shot to the ribs feels from a 95 mph Morris fastball.

    Comment by Leo Walter — May 30, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  62. Including Wilbur and Charlie Wilmoth, two contributors to a site that a lot of Pirate fans go to.

    I haven’t seen a retraction from either.

    Comment by CabreraDeath — May 30, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  63. Why would you want a replacement at third when your current third basement is underperforming for average,but leads your team in Homeruns and RBI ?

    Comment by Leo Walter — May 30, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

  64. The Pirates may make the playoffs, finish with a winning record, or even win the world series.

    I still will never take them seriously.

    Comment by yaboynate — May 30, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

  65. MikeS : reading comprehension problem ? Or,did you just skim the column and hit the keyboard ? You obviously didn’t understand what Cameron was pointing out.

    Comment by Leo Walter — May 30, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  66. Grilli has been absolutely ridiculous.

    Comment by LaLoosh — May 30, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  67. The Tigers are definitely a good team, but don’t rely on a 4-game home-and-home pitting any two teams as proof of anything. WAAAAAY too small a smaple to be meaningful.

    Comment by Jason B — May 30, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  68. Nor they you, Yaboy. Do you mind if I call you ‘Yaboy’?

    Comment by ibid — May 30, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

  69. I’ve been a Pirates fan since Clemente. As much as I want to see them break .500 and make the playoffs, it’s still too soon for me to feel comfortable on either count. Watching the last two collapses causes me concern. But I would also say I think this team is much more solid in the SP and RP areas. Russell Martin has been a godsend when compared to Rod Barajas or Chris Snyder. Starters need to go further in games. Grilli and Melancon can’t sustain this pace (obviously). SS is a black hole. I do think there is good picthing help in AAA. James McDonald is NOT going to contribute to this team.

    Comment by Utah Dave — May 30, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

  70. Reminds me of the 2011 Braves; below league average in offense, good-but-not-dominating rotation, but lights-out bullpen. Same questions with regards to bullpen holding up late season.

    Comment by D — May 30, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  71. I tried to concisely say: The last winning season the Pirates had had also put them into the playoffs. But I failed to write what I meant to convey.

    Comment by szielinski — May 30, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  72. They don’t need to retract their analysis. They only need to admit that they were wrong to claim that Huntington will not be good enough to lead the organization. They made their case and their analysis was not mindlessly wrong or inappropriate. And if the Pirates falter late in 2013 as they had the past two seasons, Charlie and Wilbur will again find supporters for the views they expressed this past off-season.

    Comment by szielinski — May 30, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

  73. Even ridiculous doesn’t do his numbers justice.

    Comment by rotowizard — May 30, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

  74. There has been a ton of Huntington hate from Wilbur on BucsDugout and PiratesProspects. Charlie had somewhat turned sour on Huntington within the last year, but he hasn’t been nearly as anti-Huntington as Wilbur.

    Neither have made many comments recently that I’m aware of regarding Huntington in posts (maybe they have within threads but I obviously haven’t read every comment on the site), but at this point I think it is pretty clear that almost everybody underestimated the hole the Pirates were in when Huntington took over and how long it would take to fix. No one for over a decade and a half could figure out how to fix the Pirates, but Huntington seems to be on the right track. He deserves a ton of credit.

    Comment by Kosstic518 — May 30, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

  75. Ah, early season Liriano, he’s a really great pitcher, isn’t he. Come June 15 or so we’ll start hearing him talk about dead arm and then it’s up to the GM/manager where it goes from there. If he could pitch every 10 days, he would be amazing all year long.

    Comment by snack man — May 30, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

  76. The idea that because the Pirate teams of the last two years faded in the second half means that this year’s team will do the same, as some are suggesting, is pretty weird. It’s like saying because we had a rainy spring last year, we will have a rainy spring this year.

    Comment by PackBob — May 30, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

  77. As a Tiger fan who has watched the Pirates the last four days, can’t help but think their use of shifts and defensive positioning has helped keep that babip so low.

    Comment by Matt — May 30, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

  78. Once Clint gets them over the top they’ll have to fire Hurdle before he torpedoes them in the playoffs

    Comment by Edgar Martinez' Tequila Worm — May 30, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  79. Yeah that’s a great point. If only he suffered some random accident to anything but his pitching arm, so that he was held back, and his fourth start of the season came early in June. That’d be great.

    Comment by Bob — May 30, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

  80. Honestly, I don’t understand all the love for Pittsburgh. Their offense is basically McCutchen, Marte, Walker, Jones, Martin, and Alvarez. And their pitching is only average. Sounds more like a 78-83 win team. I’ll be pulling for them, though.

    Comment by Josh Donaldson's #1 Fan — May 30, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

  81. Their pitching has certainly been much better than average so far. #2 ERA in the majors, #7 FIP, #8 xFIP, and by far the best high-leverage numbers in the majors in the third most high-leverage innings. Whether they can sustain it is one thing, especially relying on the pen as much as they do (though there are a few more nasty arms available in the minors for that, and I’m not talking about Cole and Taillon), but, using the present tense as you did, their pitching is currently excellent.

    Comment by Sean — May 31, 2013 @ 12:50 am

  82. I think that’s an unfair characterization. They were reasonably critical and leaned towards not retaining NH, etc. That stands in stark contrast to some of the far less nuanced Pirates ‘analysis’ and commentary in much of the Pittsburgh, which seemed to insist that almost everything the FO had done was terrible.

    I’d be curious as to what exactly you feel they should retract?

    Comment by Brendan McFadden — May 31, 2013 @ 1:20 am

  83. Considering the changes in roster, you’re basically suggesting that the weather this spring will be the same as last spring even though you moved from Maine to Georgia.

    Comment by KDL — May 31, 2013 @ 3:11 am

  84. I usually enjoy browsing through the comments here – the brains of this site’s consumers routinely amaze me. However, recently I feel like there should be a basic “article comprehension” quiz after each piece that one needs to pass before they’re allowed to say anything…

    Comment by Cheapskate — May 31, 2013 @ 8:25 am

  85. Because this is the 21st century and we understand that homeruns and RBI’s are not the be all and end all. He has a wRC+ of 77. I’m not saying he won’t improve, but he hasn’t exactly helped the Bucs this year. That being said, he’s probably better than this and will likely have a better second half. This should help Pittsburgh deal with the inevitable regression of other players.

    Comment by Bill — May 31, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  86. And Snider. That gives you seven, auto-out Barmes or (preferably) Mercer is 8th, then a pitcher. That ain’t too bad.

    Comment by SprayingMantis — May 31, 2013 @ 9:32 am

  87. Dan Duquette comes to mind. But yeah, Huntington has done a very good job. I’d kind of like to see them make a move for Lee or somebody this year, but at the same time, I don’t want to see them mortgage their future. It should be bright.

    Comment by Bill — May 31, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  88. Wait, the Pirates have 8 offensive players and you seem to believe it’s a bad thing that only 6 of them contribute to the offense? I could argue about those six, but how many NL teams have more than six? I can’t think of any.

    Comment by Bill — May 31, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  89. You forgot to mention that Snider is putting up an OPS+ of 112 in RF, so I think that counts as contributing to the offense.

    So in other words, their offense is only seven out of eight starters. As opposed to, say, the Reds, whose offense is basically Votto, Choo, and Phillips.

    Or if you want to be analytical about it (this is Fangraphs, after all), the Pirates have more starting position players with OPS+ above 100 (6) than either the Reds or Cardinals (5 each); the Pirates have more players with >50 PAs with OPS+ above 100 (10 of 13) than either the Reds (5 of 12) or Cardinals (6 of 10).

    If anything, I would say that the numbers indicate that the Pirates’ offense has been less concentrated among a small number of players than either the Reds or Cardinals, which makes them less vulnerable to an injury or slump. Votto is putting up an insane 173 OPS+. A fastball off the hand could do serious damage to the Reds’ offense.

    Comment by DG Lewis — May 31, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  90. c death are you butt hurt cause you are banned from bucsdugout? it seems that way, as you obviously lurk there.

    Comment by imadushbag — May 31, 2013 @ 10:25 am

  91. They had the toughest opening month in baseball based on last years win pct.

    Comment by stich09 — May 31, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  92. I think the difference this year for the Pirates is depth. Should anybody but Wandy or AJ regress, options are available. Morton and Karstens aren’t flashy but they get the job done: I.e. 6 innings and still within1-2 runs. Offense probably won’t average 10 runs a game but they are due to improve. I’d happily take a 90 win season just to get the monkey of losing off their backs.

    Comment by Mike — May 31, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  93. The most interesting thing from this article to me (and that’s not an insult, the entire post is well done and interesting) is that the Tigers lead in wOBA differential and yet have had mediocre W-L results. I think there’s another article there somewhere, and it’s one I’d like to read. :)

    Comment by Nathan — May 31, 2013 @ 11:28 am

  94. Yes, it was the year Atlanta beat them in the NLCS when Sid Bream scored the winning run in the 9th of game 7.

    Comment by Don — May 31, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

  95. Tallion won’t be. Cole maybe, although he hasn’t pitched all that well at AAA. In the short term, the return of Morton and Karstens will be more of a boost.

    Comment by pitnick — May 31, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  96. Not sure I agree with the Cole part. Wandy-Liriano-Burnett aren’t going anywhere, Locke would need a real string of awfulness to be removed from the rotation at this point, and Karstens or Morton could replace Gomez. Cole could pitch his way into the rotation, but I wouldn’t call it a lock, especially not with the way he’s pitched so far at AAA.

    Comment by pitnick — May 31, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

  97. The Bucs are better because they’ve learned how to win. The offense has been average at best.So thatis the key this team has the potential to lead the NL in homeruns ,I believe if it picks up ,which it should, the Bucs might win 95…
    The ESPN baseball so- called experts are waiting and I think hoping that the pirates fail again ,so they can massage their already inflated egos…

    Comment by rich — May 31, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  98. Yes he did the same thing last year before going off for a wRC+ of 145(June), 125(July), & 165(August) then tailing off in September (70). And his 77 so far this year is mainly because of a God awful April (49).

    Comment by gorillakilla34 — May 31, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

  99. you have to learn to proofread your work. i stopped reading after the first paragraph. The Pirates are for real because of the bullpen.

    Comment by Josh Robbins — May 31, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

  100. You just HAD to bring that up…
    Guess I’m spending the weekend soothing those re-opened wounds.

    Comment by Ben — May 31, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

  101. Did you pay up yet? Because they just won their 93rd game. I’ll bet you’re nowhere to be found.

    Comment by TWNDAI — September 28, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

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