Unlike last year’s Pirates fell good story this years team is in it for the long haul. Last year’s team fizzled out with the rigors of the long season and only picking up a 35 year old Derrek Lee to push them to a playoff spot. This year’s team is a little older, ready for the long haul, and has a much better starting pitching staff. The bullpen is one of the best too. Remember that the Pirate led the league in Runs scored in the month of June.
For the next 3 weeks you need to be aware of these Pittsburgh Pirates. Their next 19 games are against teams with losing records. From this point forward they have the easiest schedule in the majors the rest of the year. The teams they will be playing for the remaining 70+ games have a winning percentage of .461. It is time to feast on both the hitting and pitching of the Buccos. Many of their players are still available on the wire and can be easy trade targets from your league mates.
The Pirates will also go after a bat in the next couple of weeks. Expect a 1B or OF to come in and hit in the 4-5-0r 6t hole. Whoever they pick up in a trade Garret Jones will stay put with everyday at-bats and either play 1B or OF depending on whom they acquire. We all know McCutchen is having an MVP season and is most likely the only Pirate that cannot be had via trade. The rest of the team though is ripe for the pickings.
1B Garrett Jones 18% Owned: Has legit power and once a trade is made he will have an everyday job and get more ABs.
2B Neil Walker 62% Owned: Hitting over .290 with 40+ R & RBI with 7HR & 7SB. A 15/15 guy hitting near .300 at MI sounds great to me.
SS Clint Barmes 1% Owned: Not Fantasy relevant. If the Bucs went out and got say a JJ Hardy it would be a huge upgrade. I see them going after 1B/OF type but do not be surprised if the try and sneak a trade for a hard hitting SS.
3B Pedro Alvarez 42% Owned: If you drafted Mark Reynolds for power at 3B you should now consider Alvarez and his power and hitting near .250 now. He has definitely taken over the 3B spot from Casey McGehee.
OF Drew Sutton 1% Owned: He was acquired off waiver form TB earlier in the year. He is hitting just a tick under .300 and is switch hitter with 3B eligibility.
OF Starling Marte 1% Owned: He hasn’t been called up yet, look for it to happen sooner or later especially if Jose Tabata continues to struggle in the minors.
SP A.J. Burnett 72% Owned, Erik Bedard 27% Owned, James McDonald 87% Owned, Jeff Karstens 5% Owned, Kevin Correia 2% Owned. The first 4 SP listed have a K/9 ratio of 7.85 which is fantastic. All are worth owning at this stage of the season.
RP Jason Grilli 15% Owned: All Grilli has done is pull down a WHIP under 1 with 54 Ks in only 32 innings. He I a lock down set up man. With him and Hanrahan at the back of the pen, the Pirates do not blow many late inning leads.
So watch the Pirates start to pull away by the trade deadline and look for some hitters start wanting to come to Pittsburgh for the playoff push which has been a problem in the past. Winning cures all of that. On a pure PR standpoint the club would like to award their fans with a big name since they were unable to sign their 1st round pick Mark Appel. Most likely players coming to the Pirates: Victorino, BJ Upton, LaHair, or Soriano.