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A look at the competition: the pittsburgh pirates

February 19, 2007

the buccos 

the first installment of the series will review the buccos. who did they let go? who did they sign/trade for? where do I think they are going? lets find out.

2006 record: 67-95 (5th in central division)

additions: dan kolb, tony armas jr., adam laroche (via trade), jose hernandez, yoslan herrera

subtractions: mike gonzalez (via trade), jeromy burnitz, joe randa

one of the biggest (if not the biggest) moves of the offseason for the pirates was the laroche trade. they traded left-handed closer mike gonzalez to atlanta for adam laroche, the lefty powerhitting first baseman.

they disperately needed a lefty power hitter to put in the middle of that lineup to put right in there between jason bay and freddy sanchez.

they got plenty of good arms in the bullpen and former setup man soloman torres is now their new closer.

I think their bullpen will be very solid if not spectacular because they have young guys that are talented in there and the bullpen is deep also.

they have a decent rotation with their number one starter being Ian snell who went 14-11 last season with an era of 4.74. I dont know if he is the “ace” type of pitcher, but from what I have seen of him pitching against the cards, he can be pretty good at times. he also throws hard which is a plus and he is relatively young (25).

behind him the rotation you have zach duke (promising lefty), paul maholm (decent pitcher), tom gorzelanny (young pitcher), tony armas (veteran) and shawn chacon (another veteran).

this rotation should be decent due to the experience of the bottom of it and the potential at the top.

the offense should and will improve because of the addition of laroche. now they’ve got two 30+ homerun hitters, bay and laroche, which should be a real plus to the offense, another ligetimate power hitter.

the lineup could look like this in 2007: chris duffy (cf), jack wilson (ss), freddy sanchez (3b), adam laroche (1b), jason bay (lf), xavier nady (rf), ronny paulino (c) and jose castillo (2b).

 the got the all-star and batting champ sanchez in their with one of the most underrated hitters of the game, jason bay, and now with laroche in the middle of both. these three core guys are the 2-3-4 guys in the lineup and the offense rests on their shoulder.

2007 outlook: they got a lot of young players and a lot of potential, but the pirates do every year and dont really make a real step forwards.

2007 predicted record: 75-87 (6th in nl central)

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