Thursday, March 18, 2010

30 Clubs in 30 Days Recaps: Pittsburgh Pirates

Today we start our series of previewing all of the teams in the NL Central. We will take a look at all the teams by recapping their episodes of MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days". Let's hop in to the 2010 Pirates.
  • The Pirates are training for the season down in Bradenton, Florida.
  • They have had 17 losing seasons in a row.
  • Dan Plesac and John Hart agree that Pirates have a plan to try to become a winning ballclub at some point.
  • Last year's record: 62-99

Offseason Additions

  • D.J. Carrasco, RP
  • R. Church, OF
  • N. Cotts, RP
  • B. Donnelly, RP
  • O. Dotel, RP
  • J. Lopez, RP
  • B. Crosby, IF
  • A. Iwamura, IF


  • M. Capps, RP
  • J. Chavez, RP

Hazel Mae talks with Andrew McCutchen:

  • It was a cool feeling to come in to camp knowing that he's on the big league roster.
  • The Pirates come together as a team and just have a lot of fun. They don't separate into veterans and young guy groups.
  • Last year let Andrew know that he can do this and he can handle this. He's looking to stay with that same flow.

John Hart says that the Bucs knew when they drafted McCutchen that he would be their guy. Garrett Jones was a different story because he was a guy nobody really thought about. Plesac added that if you're a minor leaguer in the Pirates system there's some hope that you can advance to the big leagues quickly.

GM Neal Huntington joined the guys to talk about the club that he has assembled:

  • The Pirates had a good early camp even with the bad weather experienced in Florida.
  • The energy in Spring Training is very positive. They have a group of guys ready to take that next step forward.
  • Neal has tried to compile as many solid prospects as possible.
  • He makes it clear that the single focus is putting a winning team on the field.

Starting Rotation:

  • Maholm, LHP
  • Ohlendorf, RHP
  • Duke, LHP
  • Morton, RHP
  • Kevin Hart or Daneil McCutchen

Dan thinks this rotation is a "pitch to contact" rotation that has control type pitchers. Paul Maholm and Zack Duke are 2 left handers that give the clubs something to work with. Charlie Morton hasn't put it all together be he "might have the best stuff" on the staff.

Hazel Mae chatted with Maholm:

  • Paul was dealing with a sore knee last year, but he had no issues in the offseason.
  • He ran more this winter than he had in the past.
  • Maholm is going to go out there every fifth day and expect to do well.

Projected Pirates Bullpen:

  • Brendon Donnelly, RHP
  • Joel Hanrahan, RHOP
  • Neal Cotts, LHP
  • Javier Lopez, LHP
  • Evan Meek, RHP
  • D.J. Carrasco, RHP
  • Closer- Octavio Dotel, RHP

John thinks that the bullpen is very well rounded because they have some veterans and younger guys. Meek was drafted in the Rule 5 Draft from Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh expects big things from him down the road.

2009 Pirate team stats

  • Runs: 636 (16th in NL)
  • Average: .252 (14th)
  • Home Runs: 125 (14th)
  • OBP: .318 (14th)
  • Stolen Bases: 90 (8th)

Hazel Mae with Lastings Milledge:

  • He is aware of the fact that he is already kind of "on the bubble" because of off the field issues he has had in the past. This is his 3rd big league club.
  • It could be his last chance of lasting with a major league team.
  • Milledge is thrilled with the amount of 1 on 1 time and instruction that he's gotten from the Pittsburgh staff.

Projected Lineup:

  • McCutchen, CF
  • Iwamura, 2B
  • Jones, RF
  • Doumit, C
  • Clement, 1B
  • Milledge, LF
  • LaRoche, 1B
  • Cedeno, SS

Clement struggled in Seattle as a catcher, but now the Pirates are working to convert him to a first baseman. If that experiment works, he could become a nice middle of the order power presence. The Pittsburgh defense looks good on paper. Former Cub Ronny Cedeno is a guy that "can do everything" according to Plesac. Ronny seems to go through some mental lapses.

Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski joined Hazel for a chat:

  • The key to becoming a winning club is building from the bottom.
  • Mazeroski thinks that the Pirates will be a winning ballclub sometime soon.

Top Prospects:

  • Tim Alderson, RHP
  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  • Chase D'Arnaub, SS
  • Gorkys Hernandez, OF
  • Brad Lincoln, RHP

Alvarez with Mae:

  • Being in the spotlight is fun. Pedro thinks it's good to be viewed as a player that can help an organization.
  • He is hoping to live up to the expectation.

Baseball Prospectus Projection: 72-90, 6th place, 17 GB

John Projection: They will be an improved ballclub but will not make a run to contend.

Dan's Projection: The Pirates are just a little short of contending.

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