2019 Autopsy Report: Pittsburgh Pirates
Welcome to the 1st post of what I hope is a recurring series over the next 2 months – the 2019 Autopsy reports! Long story short, we’ll take a quick cruise through each team, as it gets eliminated from taking home the 2019 title.
Our 1st team eliminated in 2019 is the Pittsburgh Pirates – a team that looked to make a little noise in the NL Central, but after some neglect and a GM change saw the team kick off a bit of a re-tool
Time of Death: Monday, August 26th when Charles Tilson flew out to left, capping a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia. At 41-90, the Pirates were officially eliminated from all playoff possibilities
Cause of Death (Primary): Lack of Talent. No sense mincing words, the Pirates just didn’t have the guns this year, or at least don’t anymore. Before the season, I saw a path which could have them finish 2nd in the Central on the backs of a powerful OF and some steady arms. Then the initial new GM struggled and had to resign, and the new new GM suddenly inherited a mess that was behind the 8-ball already. As it stands now, Tink Jones (CLE), Josh Bell (PHI) and Gerrit Cole (PHI) play elsewhere and a rebuild is likely in full swing in Pittsburgh
Secondary Issues: Team stats do the Pirates no favors. They’re bottom 3 in the NL in most categories including Average, OBP, ERA and Defensive efficiency
Left to Play For: Well, as it stands now the Pirates hold a 2.5 game “lead” on Detroit for the 1st pick, so there’s that. If they’re keen on playing the spoiler, they do have 5 series left against teams over .500 – including the final series where they’ll host the Reds who are currently tie for the NL Wild Card.
2020 Outlook: Still not good. This is likely going to be a multi-year rebuild for the Pirates 0 the key for them will be the same as any team that embarks on a mission – sort the wheat from the chaff. Decide who they have in-house that can play a role on the next good Pirates team and churn and burn others and low-cost FA pickups for players who can