Pittsburgh (KDKA)- The Pirates anemic offense cost them another game last night. The problem for manager Clint Hurdle is that the players he’s counting on for offense just aren’t hitting.
I’m going to play manager for a day and give Hurdle 5 changes that I’d make to the Pirates lineup.
The statistics don’t lie, the Pirates are struggling to hit the baseball.
National League Ranking:
Runs Scored: 3rd lowest
Home Runs: 27 (4th fewest)
Batting Average: .233
Slugging Percentage: .349 (3rd worst)
5 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE PIRATES LINEUP:
1) Sit Lyle Overbay: I realize Overbay is a proven major league hitter. They brought him here figuring he’d give them above average defense, a solid batting average and a bunch of doubles. To this point, he’s done none of that. Following last night’s game, Overbay is hitting .223, 2 HR’s and 13 RBI. I’m not suggesting to bench him forever, but, he shouldn’t be a fixture in the starting lineup.
2) Move Jones to 1B and Paul to RF: I’d have Garrett Jones replace Overbay at first base. Despite only having 91 at-bats, Jones has hit 6 HR’s and driven in 13 runs.|
I’d replace Jones spot in right field with newly acquired Xavier Paul. Since being claimed off waivers, Paul has produced when given the chance to play. In 20 games with the Pirates, Paul has hit .278 and has swiped 3 bases. By inserting Paul into the lineup, it would bring a ton of speed and great defense.
3) Play Ryan Doumit More: Throughout his career with the Pirates, Doumit has been a very streaky hitter. Right now, Doumit is swinging the bat very well. In 65 at-bats, Doumit is hitting .292 with 3 HR and 13 RBI. That RBI total is third best on the team behind Andrew McCutchen (19) and Neil Walker (21). Despite having 55 less at-bats than Overbay, he has the same amount of RBI’s.
4) Sit Ronny Cedeno and play Brandon Wood: The Cedeno experiment should end immediately. I’m not suggesting that Wood is the next Cal Ripken Jr, but, I am saying that he’d put up better statistics than Cedeno. Despite playing nearly everyday, Cedeno is batting .212 with 0 HR’s. Wood is a player with plenty of potential and he should be given every opportunity in this weak Pirate lineup.
5) Move Pedro Alvarez Up: I realize this sounds crazy considering how much he’s struggling. Alvarez is batting only .204 and has struck out 36 times in 108 at-bats. In my opinion, batting Alvarez seventh in the lineup hurts him because he’ll see very few good pitches. The pitcher knows Cedeno is batting behind him so why give him anything good to hit. If the Pirates are ever going to be a winning team, Alvarez needs to be a fixture in the middle of that lineup.
SUGGESTED STARTING LINEUP:
Jose Tabata, LF
Xavier Paul, RF
Andrew McCutchen, CF
Neil Walker, 2B
Pedro Alvarez, 3B
Ryan Doumit, C
Garrett Jones, 1B
Brandon Wood, SS