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Thread: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

      
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    Default 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    3 games into the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates sit at 2-1. This isn't that important to some since the Pirates have had good starts and even series wins to start the season in the past. If you're one to consider each season as it's own like me and don't clump the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates as being the exact same as the 1998 Pittsburgh Pirates (choose a season from 1993-2010) then there are a lot of early positives and negatives to take.


    Positives :

    • Starting Pitching for the most part has been good. Actually, Kevin Correia and Paul Maholm were stellar in their games and while Ross Ohlendorf struggled, he limited what could've been far worse damage. That is a good sign. You won't always have your best game but keeping those off games from turning into routes as the Starting Pitching did in 2010 is important.

      Team ERA is 2.77 which is ranked 8th (as of this post)
    • There is Offense. The 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates have enough good bats to be at least average offensively. There's also going to be a lot of hot and cold streaks and with some of the inexperience you never know what a sophomore season can present. through 3 games, the Pittsburgh Pirates Offense :

      .275 Batting Average (ranked 13th in MLB as of this post)
      3 Homers (ranked Tied for 9th as of this post)
      .403 SLG (ranked 14th as of this post)
      Drawn 12 BB's (ranked 5th as of this post)
      13 runs scored (ranked 13th as of this post)
      .753 OPS ranked 13th as of this post)
    • There is more aggressiveness. If Pittsburgh Pirates fans got a nickel for every time a Manager has stated that the Pirates would do this and that the following season in Spring Training we'd collectively have as much money as the mythical Bob Nutting profits created by the Tin Foil Hat Lemmings. It';s an actual relief and rarity to see it happen and so far it's happened. The things that Clint Hurdle has preached and talked about the Pirates doing such as being more aggressive on the base paths and more attention to small ball, pitching inside ... we are actually finally seeing.




    Negatives :

    • Geez these strike out a lot. As of this post the Pittsburgh Pirates lead the league in Strike Outs. It's a very feast or famine team. They either get a hit, draw a walk or strike out. As long as the Pirates are hitting good enough and are drawing their fair share of walks, the K's aren't really of any concern but can we please not be the worst in the league in this category?
    • Mental mistakes defensively. Lyle Overbay's gold glove-esque defense failing, Ronny Cedeno's inability to field and throw, Pedro Alvarez forgetting to call for and catch infield pop-ups. Certain things I don't want to harp on too much since the first game was played in pretty slick conditions so things such as Pedro Alvarez's sailing ball to 1B I'll put off to the side. The positive here if thee is one is that the Pirates have committed 3 Errors which is Tied for 6th but it's not as bad as the teams playing in the Bay area who have committed 6 Errors each.


    All in all it's been a good start and while the Pittsburgh Pirates can improve in some areas there's this feeling of team "tightness" that I haven't quite felt in a long time. A tightness not felt since 2008 when a lot of the roster was familiar with each other. When you look at really bad teams you often don't see any sort of direction or feel any cohesion and chemistry between the players. There seems to be nothing holding it all together. so far this year as early as it might be there's this feeling of chemistry, cohesion and direction. Whether this is Clint Hurdle's stamp or some form of continuity in the lineup is anyone's guess, but it's good to see and it should help.

    Besides, when you collect 16 hits, all of them singles for the first time since 1920... something unique is happening, right?
    Last edited by Kipper; Feb-27-2015 at 09:29 AM.
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Watching most of the two wins, some observations I came away with were;

    1. Our infield is a long way from good. It starts at shortstop, and at this point, I just don't think Cedeno is the answer. I always felt he had potential, but if he's here long term, it's as a utility type guy.

    2. Reserve my spot on the Anthony Rendon bandwagon. Pedro Alvarez doesn't appear to have the hands or reflexes to stay at third long term.

    3. Obviously it's way too early for anything substantial on the pitching staff, but so far so good.

    I think the offense will be driven by the core 4. If they produce we'll be much improved over last year. 2-1 on the road and it could've easily been 3-0. I'll take that!!

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Neil Walker has made quite an impression on me in this first series.

    1st game, Grand Slam.

    2nd game, caught a bad throw from Maholm and made a nice throw to 1st base to complete the double play.

    3rd game, superb base running to score from 2nd base to take the lead in the 9th inning.

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Think about how much better our team will be with Rendon manning 3B and Alvarez moving to 1B!
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    All in all it's been a good start

    If we could only play the Cubs 130 times we might be on to something.


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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    This is a team that, while they have a lot of the same players as last season, has a different look about them and they are going to improve as the year goes on. While they wasted a good start by Maholm, they picked Ohlendorf up off the hook and made a winner out of Karstens. That was a character win today that won the first road series of the year. That is no little matter after only 17 road wins all of last season.
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    Watching most of the two wins, some observations I came away with were;

    1. Our infield is a long way from good. It starts at shortstop, and at this point, I just don't think Cedeno is the answer. I always felt he had potential, but if he's here long term, it's as a utility type guy.

    2. Reserve my spot on the Anthony Rendon bandwagon. Pedro Alvarez doesn't appear to have the hands or reflexes to stay at third long term.

    3. Obviously it's way too early for anything substantial on the pitching staff, but so far so good.

    I think the offense will be driven by the core 4. If they produce we'll be much improved over last year. 2-1 on the road and it could've easily been 3-0. I'll take that!!
    Reflexes is a really good description. Pedro does have slow reflexes it seems which causes balls to both get past him or take the body hop off of him because he doesn't get there in time. I think the glove is alright, the arm strength is there, not so much the accuracy but he does seem a half step slow which is all it takes.

    Outside of that 1 season of Andy laroche playing great defense, we've been riddled with below average defense from 3B (Alvarez, Bautista, Randa, Ramirez,)
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    I'm not at all worried about Overbay's defense. I believe that error was an abberration.

    Cedeno will drive everyone nuts. He is just too inconsistent. The two walks thus far are surprising though.

    The starters will probably end up being average. They have done a decent job so far. The two with the ability to pitch the best haven't taken the hill yet.

    Even though it hasn't factored in yet, I like the bench.

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Reflexes is a really good description. Pedro does have slow reflexes it seems which causes balls to both get past him or take the body hop off of him because he doesn't get there in time. I think the glove is alright, the arm strength is there, not so much the accuracy but he does seem a half step slow which is all it takes.

    Outside of that 1 season of Andy laroche playing great defense, we've been riddled with below average defense from 3B (Alvarez, Bautista, Randa, Ramirez,)
    3rd base is a reflex position and he definitely lacks the reflexes to even be above average. That's not to say that he can't do other things to make him better in the future. He's obviously a high caliber talent, but I'll be anxious to see if he becomes the talent Scott Boras thinks he will. In the end, he may just end up an overpaid DH.

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Reflexes is a really good description. Pedro does have slow reflexes it seems which causes balls to both get past him or take the body hop off of him because he doesn't get there in time. I think the glove is alright, the arm strength is there, not so much the accuracy but he does seem a half step slow which is all it takes.

    Outside of that 1 season of Andy laroche playing great defense, we've been riddled with below average defense from 3B (Alvarez, Bautista, Randa, Ramirez,)
    Not that I'm getting down on Pedro because I expect him to win more games with his bat than he will lose with his glove, but moving him to 1st base, which seems to be the popular thing to do, doesn't mean that he'll be fine at 1B either. Last I looked, 1B was the same distance from the plate as 3B. So you not only have the same reflex issues, but you have to throw in the new demands of fielding throws. The footwork required at 1st is a heck of a lot more than required at 3rd.

    I'm on board with drafting Rendon to play 3B. Seems an easy choice at this point. I wonder if Alvarez isn't best suited to play RF instead of the infield positions? He runs well, has a good arm and provides the bat you want from that position.

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    3rd base is a reflex position and he definitely lacks the reflexes to even be above average. That's not to say that he can't do other things to make him better in the future. He's obviously a high caliber talent, but I'll be anxious to see if he becomes the talent Scott Boras thinks he will. In the end, he may just end up an overpaid DH.
    This seems to me to be reasoning all the more to select Rendon, not that you ever draft for need in the MLB draft, but let's get real...Rendon is a gold glove 3B who will hit like and field like a +Zimmerman...and Pedro is at best a Ryan Howard, at worst a Carlos Pena...both of which are mediocre fielding 1B/DH types who can pound the ball but have some inconsistencies in their bats as well.
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Not that I'm getting down on Pedro because I expect him to win more games with his bat than he will lose with his glove, but moving him to 1st base, which seems to be the popular thing to do, doesn't mean that he'll be fine at 1B either. Last I looked, 1B was the same distance from the plate as 3B. So you not only have the same reflex issues, but you have to throw in the new demands of fielding throws. The footwork required at 1st is a heck of a lot more than required at 3rd.

    I'm on board with drafting Rendon to play 3B. Seems an easy choice at this point. I wonder if Alvarez isn't best suited to play RF instead of the infield positions? He runs well, has a good arm and provides the bat you want from that position.
    Yeah, but Alvarez CAN field...not well enough to be a consistent MLB 3B, but he can/could work at 1B and provide less wear on him than the OF. Plus, I would like a guy like Curry or someone to be eventually (in the upper minors) shifted to the OF and provide us our RF.

    Either way, it does seem pretty clear that Alvarez needs to go, at least, to 1B and Rendon would help tremendously with the D.
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lup View Post
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    I'm not at all worried about Overbay's defense. I believe that error was an abberration.

    Cedeno will drive everyone nuts. He is just too inconsistent. The two walks thus far are surprising though.

    The starters will probably end up being average. They have done a decent job so far. The two with the ability to pitch the best haven't taken the hill yet.

    Even though it hasn't factored in yet, I like the bench.
    Yeah I agree about Overbay. He'll be ok defensively and I think he'll stick enough to be a decent pickup...I just wish we could have acquired a SS this offseason...J.J. Hardy would look VERY good right now in the middle of our infield (do you know he had less errors the past 2.5 seasons combined as Cedeno had last season alone).
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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Hopefully, you guys remember that 5-0 start a coupla years back.

    If we're one game over .500 at the end of May, maybe I'll get excited. But, I also remember us being 30-30 at one point in the past.

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    Default Re: 3 Games Down And A Series Finished. What Have We Learned From The 2011 Pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Yeah, but Alvarez CAN field...not well enough to be a consistent MLB 3B, but he can/could work at 1B and provide less wear on him than the OF. Plus, I would like a guy like Curry or someone to be eventually (in the upper minors) shifted to the OF and provide us our RF.

    Either way, it does seem pretty clear that Alvarez needs to go, at least, to 1B and Rendon would help tremendously with the D.
    That raises an interesting discussion. Purely from a defensive perspective, which is more important, 3B or 1B? I tend to think 1B. So we're saying that Pedro is NOT a good 3B, but will be at 1B. Sort of doesn't quite jive.

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