2016 at a glance

Record: 78-83 (3rd in NL Central)
Hitting: 13th (4.50 R/G)
Pitching: 18th (4.21 ERA)

Last year I predicted a bad season for the Pirates and it came to fruition. This season I don’t have a strong opinion but there could be some bounce back, how much I do not know. Let’s look at the lineup.

Projected Lineup

Player POS AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG OPS BB K
1 Josh Harrison 2B 501 64 6 51 17 0.289 0.321 0.405 0.726 19 75
2 Josh Bell 1B 422 52 12 55 2 0.270 0.344 0.422 0.766 47 68
3 Andrew McCutchen OF 568 84 23 84 9 0.276 0.360 0.463 0.823 68 114
4 Starling Marte OF 525 76 13 60 39 0.297 0.347 0.448 0.795 24 106
5 Gregory Polanco OF 529 79 16 69 21 0.255 0.314 0.420 0.734 47 103
6 David Freese 3B 406 54 12 51 0 0.264 0.331 0.409 0.740 33 106
7 Francisco Cervelli C 344 43 3 34 4 0.279 0.362 0.360 0.722 40 65
8 Jordy Mercer SS 500 56 9 53 2 0.254 0.311 0.364 0.675 38 76

This lineup is lacking power and the longball is important is today’s game. Lineup is solid and I am a huge fan of Marte and Cutch is ready for a bounceback season but again this lineup lacks the power that I’d like to see and that will limit their chances to do some big things considering that their rotation is not top notch.

Projected Rotation

Player POS IP W L ERA WHIP K BB SwStrike Fastball
1 Gerrit Cole SP 185 13 8 2.82 1.23 174 47 8.5% 95.2 mph
2 Jameson Taillon SP 177 12 8 3.05 1.03 148 25 8.3% 94.3 mph
3 Ivan Nova SP 154 9 9 3.80 1.31 127 35 9.4% 92.6 mph
4 Chad Kuhl SP 121 7 6 3.79 1.29 87 29 8.9% 93.2 mph
5 Tyler Glasnow SP 110 6 7 3.85 1.32 117 61 11.6% 93.5 mph
6 Trevor Williams SP 85 4 6 4.45 1.35 52 24 9.8% 92.8 mph

I am all in on Gerrit Cole, think he is the steal of the draft and will have a great bounceback season. Taillon was very good last season and we should expect the same this season. Their #1 and #2 are VERY VERY good and possibly underrated. Then we get to Nova batters have hit .301 vs him in road games last 3 season, lefties bat .312. ERA in the 4s. Nova can eat innings but he will give up his share of runs. Glasnow is someone I do not trust just yet and could be a bust considering some think he is going to have a huge season, the mental aspect of the game scares me a bit. Be careful with him. Kuhl allowed lefties to hit .300+ against him last season and is very young and I am expecting a pedestrian type season. Trevor Williams is an Arizona State stud who has great stuff and could be a good #5 if he gets there.

The rotation is good on the top, possibly even underrated. Nova, Glasnow and co concern me quite a bit and I think will be the reason they do not make the playoffs. No more Melancon in BP and now have Watson, Hudson, Bastardo. Not a BP that gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Expect no more than a .500 season unless Glasnow is a stud and the BP overachieves.

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