TMS MLB Preview 2009: Pittsburgh Pirates

March 24, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz


SO LONG: IF Jose Bautista, SS Chris Gomez, OF Jason Michaels, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, 2B Luis Rivas

WELCOME: OF Eric Hinske, OF Jeff Salazar, 3B Ramon Vazquez, P Rinku Singh, P Dinesh Patel

1. Nate McLouth CF
2. Jack Wilson SS
3. Freddy Sanchez 2B
4. Ryan Doumit C
5. Adam LaRoche 1B
6. Andy LaRoche 3B
7. Brandon Moss RF
8. Nyjer Morgan LF

Starting Rotation: Paul Maholm, Ian Snell, Ross Ohlendorf, Zach Duke, the corpse from Weekend at Bernie's
Setup: John Grabow, Tyler Yates
Closer: Matt Capps

Were I able to find the 'search' function on this website (I blame Chip Wesley for this egregious miscue), I would have just cut and paste last year's Pirates recap into this space. For long suffering Pittsburgh fans the song remains the same. A team filled with below average talent with not much help on the horizon. Unlike a small market team such as the Twins or the Rays, the Pirates farm system is a barren wasteland filled with polite, mannered (if not a bit homely) players who unfortunately don't possess a lick of discernible talent. To wit, they passed on drafting uber-prospect Matt Wieters in favor of college relief pitcher Danny Moskos. Wieters has already been anointed as Jesus' 13th disciple. Moskos is still stuck in Single A, where last year he posted a Napientek-esque ERA of 5.95.

The eternal optimist might think to themselves: Maybe Andy LaRoche finally pans out and makes that Jason Bay trade look ok. Maybe Freddy Sanchez regains his batting title form. Maybe Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny bounce back and Paul Maholm quietly develops into an ace. Maybe Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata will all pan out and we can party like it's 1991. The realist realizes that none of these things probably happen and that instead, the Buccos will go about the business of extending pro sports longest consecutive losing seasons streak.

Chin up Pittsburgh. At least you have one of the better stadiums to watch your shit team in, and football is only a few months away.

Mr. Sexy Time - Nate McLouth: This bottle blonde, a poor man's Caucasian Grady Sizemore, came out of nowhere last year to give the Buccos their first legitimate star player since Honus Wagner owned the town. Quiet and unassuming, like The Hundley in the sack, it remains to be seen if he can sustain his success or if he'll join the long line of one and done corpses that litter the greater Pittsburgh area.

Speaking of one and done corpses, Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, Zach Duke, Freddy Sanchez, I'm looking at you. Stands to reason that Paul Maholm, McLouth and Ryan Doumit are all at risk this year. Whatever you do guys, don't kiss Zach Duke on the mouth, no matter how much fun it seems like it would be at the time.

The Cory Patterson/Felix Pie Award, Given to the CF Prospect Most Likely to Fail: Andrew McCutchen - Everything you've heard about him (don't feel bad if you've heard nothing) would lead you to believe that he'll be good. Then you remember the name on the front of the jersey. Then you also remember Chris Duffy, Tike Redman, Rajai Davis and Chad Hermansen. Or maybe you don't remember those guys, which is my point.