PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Is this the season the Pirates finally turn things around?

There is certainly a lot of promise as the Pirates started the season on the road with a 4-2 record.

Pirates management is banking on their young guns. The top four hitters in their lineup are all relative newcomers to the big leagues.

“We saw something — a spark — whether Clint said it or whether these guys are tired of losing, but also it’s the fact that good young players are coming up through the system — players like Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez,” Pirates President Frank Coonelly said.

Alvarez was the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2008. Now in his first full season in the big leagues, the third baseman is a lock in the lineup every day.

“Pedro is going to have a lot of opportunity to drive in a lot of runs,” Connelly said. “We saw yesterday him lashing some balls into the outfield and it’s going to be fun see him bringing in Andrew and Jose and Neil, and obviously Neil has hit the ball over the wall a couple times already.”

Including a grand slam by the former Pine-Richland star as the Buccos clobbered the Cubs on opening day.

Now, Coonelly hopes talent translates to wins and – dare he say – talk of a title.

“Some of us have been criticized – including myself and Clint Hurdle when he talks about it – but we have what Clint says is a championship mentality,” he explained. “If we don’t have a championship mentality and we aren’t executing at a championship level everyday, we can’t expect to have a championship season.”

On opening day in baseball, hope springs eternal.

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