I have decided to do my Pirates prediction for the year. Not so much a prediction, but a preview of what we will see this year. If you want a nice in-depth look at the upcoming season, I suggest going to WHYGAVS and reading his stuff and some of the other Pirates blogs in his links.
Every season I seem to have this optimism, which leads me to be disappointed by about May. This year though, I have looked at what we have, and I do not see us being playoff contenders, probably still fighting to be a .500 team. Hopefully not sub-.500 again.
The big news of the year was the Gonzo/LaRoche trade. This was a good thing, we now have a power hitting first baseman, and someone to bat around Jason Bay, who can take the pressure of him. I think he will probably hit around .275, with between 24-29 homers.
Jason Bay will put up another really good year. I think he will again hit around 30 homers, maybe as high as 35. His average could be anywhere from .280-.300. I do not see him stealing many bases this year, maybe 10.
Freddie Sanchez will most likely not bat .340s, but he could possibly hit around .300 and hit a bunch of doubles again. Unfortunately, he will be batting 3rd, with Jack Wilson batting second, which is just dumb. Wilson should be hitting 7th or 8th, but Tracy loves to have a good bunter batting second.
Chris Duffy better not start off like he did last year. That was just difficult to watch, and I really do enjoy watching him play. Jose Castillo better does not look fat, so hopefully he stops thinking he is a big pull hitter, and goes back to hitting line drives to right field. Paulino needs to start hitting for power, but if he can continue to bat in the .300s, even if they are just singles, I will take it.
Xavier Nady better not die or have Crohn’s disease. I am not saying he is superb, but he is okay, and I like him because his online nickname is Weapon X. Maybe under Bay’s influence he will improve, since they are good friends from back in their days of San Diego minor league ball together.
Pitching: ugh, lets just hope the pitching staff matured and no one gets hurt. If Gorzo or someone else goes down, having Armas and Chacon starting together would be ugly.
Well let me know what you guys think, will the Pirates contend, or suck again?