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The ship is moving in the right direction and on paper at least in terms of quality backup players, they look like a better team than they were a year ago.

They're very fragile and need to get production of Tabata and Alvarez, both of whom figure to play a prominent role in the future if they're going to get to the .500 plateau this year and advance even further once their young pitchers hit the majors as there really isn't a lot of position player depth in their minor league system that's on the verge of hitting the major leagues.

They'll flirt with .500 this year and I'd give them a range of 78-83 wins.

The over / under on Eric Bedard pitching starts in a Pirate uni is set at 18.
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How many wins for the Pirates this year?

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75!
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Well, if we were playing MVP Baseball 2005 the front two of the rotation would be $$$$.. 100 wins easy.

But this reality, and those guys are trying to recapture their past successes, as well as the rotation trying to find their first taste of it. Morton and Karstens were good last year, but I expect small regressions from both at least, especially Karstens. Morton may end up being all right if he's all healed up. McDonald's got the stuff, just has to continue to put it together.

Hitting... would look a lot better if Tabata and Alvarez are contributing.

And please, please, please, please sign McCutchen to an extension. :eusa_pray:
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For some reason I have a gut feeling that either the Pirates or the Royals (or both) are going to come out of nowhere and at least make things interesting in their respective divisions for a while.
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One thing I am interested in seeing is who will be the odd-man out in the rotation. Correia and Karstens were both awesome last year while Morton was injured and McDonald was off and on. If it was me, my starting rotation would look like this.

1 Burnett
2 Bedard
3 Correia
4 McDonald
5 Karstens/Morton

As far as the lineup goes, the Pirates quite arguably have the fastest four-some in the outfield in McCutchen, Tabata, Presley, and the return of Nate McLouth. The corner infield spots are what I worry about most, with Alvarez possibly starting at third and Garrett Jones at first. Casey McGehee was a nice, cheap pickup to hopefully give Alvarez a reason to get his "rear in gear".

Sorry people, but the Buccos will still be under .500, but they will be the closest they have ever been to reaching that mark in 15 years. I project...78 wins, and that is with the hope that everyone stays healthy throughout the season.
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CBecker1985 wrote:One thing I am interested in seeing is who will be the odd-man out in the rotation. Correia and Karstens were both awesome last year while Morton was injured and McDonald was off and on. If it was me, my starting rotation would look like this.

1 Burnett
2 Bedard
3 Correia
4 McDonald
5 Karstens/Morton

As far as the lineup goes, the Pirates quite arguably have the fastest four-some in the outfield in McCutchen, Tabata, Presley, and the return of Nate McLouth. The corner infield spots are what I worry about most, with Alvarez possibly starting at third and Garrett Jones at first. Casey McGehee was a nice, cheap pickup to hopefully give Alvarez a reason to get his "rear in gear".

Sorry people, but the Buccos will still be under .500, but they will be the closest they have ever been to reaching that mark in 15 years. I project...78 wins, and that is with the hope that everyone stays healthy throughout the season.


He's the odd man out imo..
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Still don't see ya'll breaking .500 ...even with my pathetic Astros in the division for a final year.
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Virro wrote:Still don't see ya'll breaking .500 ...even with my pathetic Astros in the division for a final year.


It's going to be a very, very long year in Houston man....sorry.
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marty1841 wrote:
Virro wrote:Still don't see ya'll breaking .500 ...even with my pathetic Astros in the division for a final year.


It's going to be a very, very long year in Houston man....sorry.


Year!? It may be long decade :(
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OilersNut wrote:
marty1841 wrote:
Virro wrote:Still don't see ya'll breaking .500 ...even with my pathetic Astros in the division for a final year.


It's going to be a very, very long year in Houston man....sorry.


Year!? It may be long decade :(


I'm hoping half decade. I'll still try to make it out to some games this year. Going to a few last year was fun even though I didn't recognize half the players.

On a Pirates note, I see your President has started drinking a bit early, say the 6 AM of the baseball day. I'll give him credit for pre-gaming even before the season begins, that's quite a champ right there. "WOOO under .500 again WOOO!"
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still a 70-75 win team at best.

when AJ Burnett is your best pitcher, well, AJ Burnett is your best pitcher.

McCutcheon's still a good fantasy option, and Bedard should be very good while he's healthy, but there's not much to get excited about here.

They'll fight the Cubs for 4th best in the division.
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1 Burnett
2 Bedard
3 Correia
4 McDonald
5 Karstens/Morton

Not sure how their rotation coming north is going to shake out but based on their April schedule and days off etc., they can probably get by with a 4 man rotation for 3 or so weeks (with a spot start tossed in by Lincoln etc.) until Morton is healthy so I see him being in the 5 man rotation but probably not until May.
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jesteva wrote:1 Burnett
2 Bedard
3 Correia
4 McDonald
5 Karstens/Morton

Not sure how their rotation coming north is going to shake out but based on their April schedule and days off etc., they can probably get by with a 4 man rotation for 3 or so weeks (with a spot start tossed in by Lincoln etc.) until Morton is healthy so I see him being in the 5 man rotation but probably not until May.



I don't want Correia in there.. I expect a regression from Karstens, but Correia's already at the regression point where Karstens will probably end up, so take the chance he can actually put together another solid season.
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Not as big a deal for most teams but for the Pirates - HUGE.

They have to demonstrate they can hold onto young talent they develop.



The Pirates and Andrew McCutchen have come to terms on a six-year, $51.5 million contract, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Just 25 years old, McCutchen had just over two years of accumulated service time, so this deal buys out his final pre-arbitration season, all three of his arb years, and his first two years of free agency, while also giving the Pirates a team option (for $14.75 million) on what would be his third free agent eligible season. Barring an injury or a total collapse of his skills, that option looks very likely to be exercised, so the working assumption should be that the Pirates have locked up McCutchen’s age 25-31 seasons for $65 million.

You don’t need to do any kinds of calculations to know that McCutchen’s likely going to be worth way, way more than that as long as he keeps going at the pace he’s established so far. Despite the fact that UZR hasn’t been a huge fan of his defense to date, he’s still managed to put up +12.9 WAR during his first three years in the big leagues – only Matt Kemp (+14.3), Josh Hamilton (+14.1, not really a CF going forward), Michael Bourn (+13.8), Curtis Granderson (+13.5), and Shane Victorino (+13.3) have outproduced him among center fielders since the start of the 2009 season. Toss in aging curves and regress the defensive metrics a bit more than the offensive numbers, and McCutchen’s right there with Kemp and Granderson for the title of best center fielder in the game.

Guys who can post a wRC+ of 126 in 1500 plate appearances through age 24 – while playing a good enough center field – are ridiculously rare. If you were starting a franchise from scratch tomorrow, McCutchen would be on the short list of guys you’d look at to build a team around. He’s already an All-Star and his broad base of skills and physical talents suggest that he could get even better. It’s not at all out of the question that McCutchen could peak as the best outfielder in the game. And now, with this deal, the Pirates have guaranteed that his best days will be spent in Pittsburgh.
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The light at the end of a very long tunnel is slowly approaching with re-signing McCutchen. That leaves one player left to negotiate with, Neil Walker. If they can do that, they lock their top three hitters up for at least 5 years. Now if only all those pitchers we drafted can stay with the team and make an impact.
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