Pirates, 32 Games to Go, Can They Do It

The Pirates have one month and 32 games to go to complete this awful by design season. The statistics speak for themselves, and I will quickly go through them. On the hitting side of things, the on base percentage is .287 ranking 28th. They have scored 3.56 runs per game ranking them 28th. Their OPS+, which is a league comparison of overall hitting, is 81 ranking them 29th. They are 18th in hitting home runs which is the only category they’re not in the bottom 10. The pitching is not much better. They allow 5.11 runs per game which is 27th. Their Fielding Independent Pitching is 4.28, ranking them 24th. In ERA+, the comparison stat on pitching, they are 90 ranking them 27th. They continue to be the worse fielding team in baseball. The only good stat for team is they are 18-19 in one run games. That is a pretty amazing stat considering they are 32 games under .500 overall and have lost 25 games by 5 or more runs. This is a team that is going for the number 1 pick in the draft next year.

The other goal of the 2022 season has been to keep as many players as possible under team control until the 2028 season. That goal has been accomplished. The following will not be free agents until the 2028 season, with the number of games played in parenthesis: Oneil Cruz (58), Cal Mitchell (44), Jack Suwinski (74), Diego Castillo (84), Tucupita Marcano (45), Rudolfo Castro (71), Bligh Madris (39), Hoy Park (66), and Jason Delay (37). This obviously will be core for next year’s team. Pirate management has made plenty of excuses for the way they reduced these players playing time. Player development is the big one, but we all know it is simply about player control. Despite the fact, that this team for the most part, has been an embarrassment to the game of baseball, management has had a great season.

Fortunately for baseball fans, the Pittsburgh Pirate season is drawing to a close. I was surprised to see for tonight’s game there will be 8 of the 2023 Pirates in the starting line up with only Tyler Heineman at catcher to desecrate the game. This will be the third time this year that 7 or more of the 2023 Pirates have been in the starting lineup. Currently the group is 2-0. With overall number 1 pick in the 2023 draft (they are only 5 ahead of the Nationals in the loss column) in managements sight, it will be interesting to see what Derek Shelton will try to do to thwart the 2023 Pirates from going 3-0. Josh Van Meter will be ready to pinch hit from the 1st inning on. The big question for the remainder of this season, will be whether or not the Pirates will settle for the 2nd or 3rd pick. Who knows? Only Derek, The Shadow, Shelton knows for sure.

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