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To finish out my all era series I am going to create two all time Pirates teams one based upon individual season and another based upon career. The goal of these teams will be to assemble the best team possible so positional rules are going to be a bit more flexible. I am going to create full 25 man rosters with 13 hitters and 12 pitchers but since the position of reliever is relatively a new concept the pitchers will be broken down to 9 starters and 3 relievers instead of the more current 5 starters and 7 relievers. To qualify for the single season team a position player must have had a minimum of 400 PA, a starter 150 IP and a reliever 40 IP. To qualify for the career team the thresholds are 1000 PA, 400 IP and 100 IP respectively.
C: 1998 Jason Kendall
1B: 1949 Ralph Kiner
2B: 1935 Arky Vaughan
3B: 1899 Jimmy Williams
SS: 1908 Honus Wagner
LF: 1992 Barry Bonds
CF: 2013 Andrew McCutchen
RF: 1967 Roberto Clemente
C: 1971 Manny Sanguillen
1B/OF: 1971 Willie Stargell
MI: 1993 Jay Bell
OF: 1925 Kiki Cuyler
U: 1972 Richie Hebner
SP: 1965 Bob Veale
SP: 1886 Ed Morris
SP: 1919 Babe Adams
SP: 1922 Wilbur Cooper
SP: 1945 Preacher Roe
SP: 1960 Bob Friend
SP: 1972 Bob Moose
SP: 1992 Doug Drabek
SP: 2004 Oliver Perez
RP: 2011 Joel Hanrahan
RP: 1959 Roy Face
RP: 1977 Rich Gossage
Just a few quick notes. When it came to the utility spot I was looking for someone with infield experience so I had to dig pretty deep to find someone. Had I been willing to add another OF Dave Parker or Paul Waner would have gotten the nod. For the pitching seasons it didn't feel right comparing across eras so I picked the best of each era to fill out the staff which is how Oliver Perez made the team.
C: Jason Kendall
1B: Willie Stargell
2B: Arky Vaughan
3B: Pie Traynor
SS: Honus Wagner
LF: Barry Bonds
CF: Max Carey
RF: Roberto Clemente
C: Manny Sanguillen
CI: Tommy Leach
MI: Bill Mazeroski
OF: Paul Waner
OF: Ralph Kiner
SP: Bob Friend
SP: Babe Adams
SP: Wilbur Cooper
SP: Bob Veale
SP: Deacon Phillippe
SP: John Candelaria
SP: Dock Ellis
SP: Sam Leever
SP: Doug Drabek
RP: Roy... [Read More]
My last all era team. I could think of no other way to finish this series off then with the 20 year stretch this franchise and its fans just endured. It was dark times to be sure but the concept of an all era team is to highlight the outstanding individual seasons and there is no doubt this era has its good share. This is the team I am of course most familiar with but as I have said before the first season I remember in good detail is 1997 so the first few years of this era are at best fuzzy for me if I recall them at all.
Catcher: One thing this era won't give us is a lot of difficult choices between players. Now like is the case here it might be easy enough to identify the player but which particular season was his best can be more difficult to obtain. The easy call here is Jason Kendall and as for which season his best is it really comes down to 1998 and 2000. Oddly enough the year in between these would probably be the easy winner if it wasn't for that gruesome ankle injury that cut his season short. My memory often tells me it was at that point in which Kendall started to slip but his strong 2000 campaign says otherwise. The winning season by a hair here ended up being 1998 but really it’s a coin flip as the two seasons were almost identical. In 1998 Kendall hit .327/.411/.473 good for a 136 wRC+. He also stole a career high 26 bases and added his second highest career mark of 12 home runs.
First Base: Much as it is today first base was a big hole for the Pirates for most of the streak. Adding to the problem is the fact that most of the players who had marginally good season while playing some 1B spent the majority of their time at other positions. Think Jeff King, Orlando Merced, John Vander Wal and to some extent even Garrett Jones. All of this does leave us with one name though and once again we are left with just a task of picking his best season but even that really isn't all too hard. The winner here is easily Kevin Young and his best season was unquestionably 1999. That season Young hit .298/.387/.522 while helping out both with the long ball, 26 HR, and on the bases, 22 steals. He was also a major run producer scoring 103 runs and driving in 106. On the year his offensive performance was 26% above league average. His only real competition was Jeff King's 1996 season.
Second Base: There is no clear winner here as this position hasn't produced a lot of quality players over the... [Read More]
| Mar 06, 2014 - 1:38 PM
leestempniak3.6.14.jpgAnother Trade Deadline has come and gone. This might be one of the more eventful ones, due to the abundance of fake accounts suckering in Rob Rossi and the Official Pittsburgh Penguins twitter account. Hell, even I was duped!
There were sexy choices out there for the Top 6. Ryan Kesler, Thomas Vanek etc.. Pens fans wanted those big names. When you land the big names you feel like you have a better chance at winning the Cup.
Or do you?
Last year heading into the Trade Deadline, the Pens were a pretty well oiled machine and then player after player was added to the roster. Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen, Douglas Murray... It was player overload for a team that probably only needed one of Morrow/Jokinen and Douglas Murray. As we know how it unfolded, the Pens choked against the Boston Bruins and the rest is history.
This season, Ray Shero was likely going after Ryan Kesler of the Canucks, but wasn't willing to overpay this time for a rental, so he focused on the teams weakest area ;
The Bottom 6.
marcelgoc3.6.14.jpgThis has been the Pens weakest area for years now. One reason why the Pens aren't succeeding. One of the strengths of Ray Shero early on as a GM was rebuilding this team by infusing a strong dosage of depth. Where the Pens depth was a bunch of has-beens and fringe NHL players, Ray Shero came in and gave the Pens 3rd and 4th line, role players to play with a couple of mainstays. If it wasn't for this depth, the Pittsburgh Penguins probably don't win their 3rd Stanley Cup. While the Top 6 for the Pens and Red Wings were neutralizing each other, our Bottom 6 outplayed Detroit's. This hasn't happened since.
The Pens added some scoring depth and that's a great thing for this team. This team as long as Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin are on the ice, will always make the Playoffs. The Regular Season is almost just a monthly set of entertainment events that... [Read More]
Assuming each major league franchise was forced to build its team with only the pieces it originally brought in what might the current Pittsburgh Pirates look like? It is an interesting question that on its face is of course impossible to answer. Given these circumstances teams would undoubtedly draft differently and promote their players differently but still it allows for an interesting thought experiment. Just what kind of team would the Pirates have right now?
To keep this exercise relatively simple I'm limiting this to current players who have seen at least some time in the major leagues. This means no bringing back players who last played in 2011 or prospects who have yet to make their debut. Also when it comes to a draft the Pirates have to have actually drafted and signed the player for him to count so Stephen Drew will not be making an appearance here. It is not necessary the player ever played for the Pirates either just that he was drafted or originally signed by them
First I'll provided a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of our options. The position is either the position they were drafted at or in the case of international free agents where they spent most of their first professional season.
C: Ryan Doumit, Steven Lerud, Neil Walker, Tony Sanchez
1B: Carlos Rivera, Steve Pearce
2B: Nate McLouth, Rajai Davis, Brock Holt
3B: Jose Bautista, Pedro Alvarez, Matt Hague
SS: Jeff Keppinger, Brian Bixler, Brent Lillibridge, Jordy Mercer, Chase d'Arnaud
OF: Nyjer Morgan, Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman
P: Bronson Arroyo, Mike Gonzalez, Joe Beimel, Jeff Bennett, Sean Burnett, Chris Young, Ian Snell, Zack Duke, Matt Capps, Paul Maholm, Tom Gorzelanny, Jonathan Albaladejo, Todd Redmond, Brad Lincoln, Jared Hughes, Michael Crotta, Daniel Moskos, Duke Welker, Tony Watson, Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson, Vic Black, Phil Irwin, Brandon Cumpton, Gerrit Cole
The above is a list of players the Pirates have drafted and signed who still had some sort of baseball impact last season. It may have been the minor leagues or even independent ball but they were still playing. I'm not willing to call it a complete list but it should be very close. Of course the draft isn't the only way to acquire talent as it can also be done through international free agents. This list is much more difficult to obtain but I think I can at least hit the relevant guys. For the... [Read More]
Let me start by saying that my preference is to follow hitting prospects rather than pitching prospects so my knowledge of the pitchers is somewhat lacking. Due to this the pitching groups are going to see a few changes as compared to the... [Read More]