First Half Report Card for the 2017 Pirates

The first half of the Pirates’ season is in the books, so now is the perfect time to assess each player’s performance so far.

Keep in mind these grades are based on a curve of their expectations for the year. Chris Stewart wasn’t going to be an All-Star, so it won’t be fair to judge him the same as Andrew McCutchen.

A

Josh Harrison: His glove is as good as ever and his versatility has been a lifesaver. He’s also contributing a lot more offensively now that he’s healthy. His ,369 OBP has been aided by a league high 18 HBPs, but he is chasing out of the zone less and has 21 walks- one away from his career high in 2014.

READ MORE ...

Random Thoughts on the Pirates

Here are some news and notes plus some random thoughts on things currently going on with the Pirates.

**This morning while speaking to the media, Clint Hurdle announced that when he returns from his suspension, Starling Marte would be playing left field and Andrew McCutchen would remain in center field. I disagree with this decision and here’s why. At the start of the season, Pirates management determined that it would best for the team if Marte was the center fielder and McCutchen in right field. What’s changed? Seems to me that this decision is a reaction and a punishment to Marte for the 80-game suspension. By doing this, the organization is punishing the entire team not just Marte. Bad move.

READ MORE ...

Starling Marte Returns to the Field Tomorrow

Starling Marte

Although it won’t be with the Pirates, Starling Marte will make his return to the baseball field tomorrow.

This evening, the team announced that Marte will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton.

Marte received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball in April after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Marte will have a 15 game rehab assignment before being eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18th.

READ MORE ...

Will Andrew McCutchen be the Next Pittsburgh Icon to Go?

Is Andrew McCutchen next?

Local sports fans just gave Marc-Andre Fleury a long good-bye when he and about half a million of them exchanged waves during the Stanley Cup parade.

His good-bye piece in the Player’s Tribune put a nice finishing touch on it and showed why he was so popular. It’s hard to remember any star in any Pittsburgh sport getting a better send-off or having been more deserving.

READ MORE ...

Perrotto: Pirates Should Have Never Hesitated In Extending Huntington, Hurdle

Ken Rosenthal reported last weekend that the Pirates have decided to grant extensions to general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle, whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season.

The Pirates haven’t announced it yet and it’s hard to tell when they will. They always seem to enjoy being secretive over such matters.

READ MORE ...

Perrotto: Pirates’ Inability to Field Three Outfielders is Embarrassing

PITTSBURGH — In the latest bit of Pirates’ bad news, right fielder Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals at PNC Park.

Polanco being sidelined by a strained right hamstring means only one of the three members of the Pirates’ celebrated outfield is on the active roster. That is Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting just .214 with six home runs and a .679 OPS in 38 games even after going 2-for-4 with a two-run single Wednesday.

READ MORE ...

Perrotto: Mentally Strong Taillon Faces Toughest Test

The 2017 season has seemingly been nothing but one major blast of bad news after another for the Pirates.

Third baseman Jung Ho Kang is still stuck in his native South Korea. He continues to try to secure a work visa after receiving a two-year suspended sentence in March for his third DUI conviction.

Starling Marte is playing in extended spring training games in Bradenton rather than patrolling center field in the major leagues. He is on the restricted list until mid-July after getting suspended 80 games last month for violating Major League Baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy.

READ MORE ...