Before we get to the new look Pirates, let’s quickly, and I do mean quickly, review the month of July. They were 11 and 14 for the month, with a couple of those wins by the new look Pirates, and it was their second best month of the season. The month was “highlighted” by the Pirates coming back from a 6 run deficit and winning 9 to 7, only to score 6 runs in the first inning the next day, and then lose 7 to 6 to the same New York Mets. The first time in the history of the National League, that a team came back from a 6 run deficit, and then blew a 6 run lead to the same team the next day. Another feather in the Pirates cap. It was amazing, that the Pirates managed to play only 3 games below .500, because statistically the bottom fell out. Even their defensive efficiency rating fell down to 21st in baseball. They hit rock bottom 30th in scoring runs. They are 24th in the league in preventing runs. Pitching ERA+ they are 28th. OPS+, they are the same, 28th, in the league. In the art of getting on base, they are 22nd. This team pretty much stinks. It’s hard to say this, but to be 11 and 14 is nothing short of a miracle. But that team is done for the season, and we practically have a whole new ball team, for the last two months of the season. Of course, they were slaughtered today, but one day does not a month make.
The Pirates have acquired 24 players, or prospects, or what ever you want to call them, since the beginning of the year. Everyone is touting the draft. The Pirate farm system is ranked right around the top 5 by most of the baseball media outlets. There will be more dead wood going out the door at the end of the season, and we pretty much know, who they are going to be. I was not surprised at all, by any of the moves, that the Pirates made this past week, as the trade deadline came and went. The only player the Pirates did not move, who I thought, they could get some value for, was Jacob Stallings. At 31, I don’t think he will be much of a factor, if and when, the Pirates become competitive. In this very weak era of catchers, where J. T. Realmuto is considered the best catcher in the game, I thought there would be more interest in a league average hitting catcher, who is an excellent defender. Apparently, there was not. The trade that amazed me the most was getting two players for Clay Holmes. Getting a pair of shoes for Clay Holmes, would have surprised me, let alone two players. Did the Yankee GM owe Cherrington a huge favor. The same thing could be said for the Red Sox trade, but at least the Pirates only got one player in return for another one of their stiffs. Only time will tell if this boat load of trade returns, and draftees of the last 2 years, are going to make the Pirates competitive in the near future. At least from a fans point of view, these next 2 months should be interesting and entertaining, to see if some of the new players on the team, can be long term contributors, or just are flashes in the pan. My final thought is that I am so glad, that according to the Pirate announcers, Gregory Polanco is seeing the ball better. He still can’t hit, but at least his vision is better. Will revisit the new Pirates on September 1.