Tri-State at the Plate Episode #64: Can Francisco Cervelli Effectively Effect the Effectiveness of Pitchers

Spring is in the air… if you’re in Arizona or Florida that is.

Andy and Jason are in the best shape of their lives and they reported for this week’s podcast!  It shows as they open up talking about meeting Jim Leyland and B.J. Upton‘s name change to Melvin Upton Jr.  Andy then talks about the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup in 2015 and how Francisco Cervelli could help all Pirates fans forget Russell Martin.  He also discusses the Pirates pitching and players who may need to make strides in 2015.  Jason then discusses Michael Bourn‘s hamstrings, Jason Kipnis‘s return to stardom, the two-spot in the Cleveland lineup, and Indians pitchers competing in sprint drills!
It’s good to be back!

2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Projected Pitching

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates will need to address and improve their pitching, particularly of the starting variety, if they are going to compete for the National League Central title in 2015. While the pitching wasn’t awful, it was basically league average across the board in every major statistical category.  With his offseason moves, general manager Neal Huntington has taken care of addressing the pitching.  Now it will be up to the new (and old) acquisitions to live up to their end of the bargain by bolstering the Pirates staff. Continue reading

2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Projected Lineup

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans have quite a bit to look forward to in 2015.  Coming off of two consecutive playoff appearances after twenty years of futility is something to celebrate in and of itself.  However, considering the Pirates have a core lineup consisting of a National League MVP in Andrew McCutchen, a runner-up for the batting title last season in Josh Harrison, and a rotation anchored by their former number one overall pick in Gerrit Cole, there is actually a strong foundation for the recent good vibes surrounding baseball in Pittsburgh.

ESPN senior writer Dave Schoenfield ranked the Pirates as the third best team in baseball in a recent 2015 preview article.  Pittsburgh constructed one of the most dynamic lineups in baseball last season, with only two players, Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco, registering an OPS+ under 100 and a good portion of their starting lineup is returning for the 2015 campaign as well.  Considering Polanco’s pedigree and that last season was his first exposure to the Major Leagues, it’s not hard to imagine his contribution to the 2015 squad improving.  While Mercer’s 12 home runs are solid for a Major League shortstop, his .255/.305/.387 triple slash leaves something to be desired, which is why Pittsburgh signed international free agent infielder Jung-ho Kang. Continue reading