Bucs want to be more armed — and dangerous

While there is an overwhelming perception out there that the Pirates are scouring the market looking for offensive help, the feeling here is that they are more keen on building on their strength — pitching.

The Bucs couldn’t acquire enough bats for a true makeover. GM Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle may think it’s a better plan to fortify the staff to the point it becomes a daily — not just, say, every three out of five days — force.

It would certainly make sense, given the Majors’ current landscape: Overall, batting averages are at a 40-year-low. The days of out-bashing the opposition are over (or, have at least been interrupted). Pitching, always the core of teams, rules.

“As long as the game has been played, championship teams have been built on pitching and defense,” said Hurdle. “That is the mindset that was put in place here before I got here, and it’s one I definitely tried to make known.

“We’ve gotta pitch it and catch it — and offensively we’ll figure things out as we go forward. Every good team that plays late in the season — where they finish offensively is not nearly as important as where they finish on the pitching end of it. Pitching keeps you in the game, keeps you playing late, gives you an opportunity to win.”

Doesn’t sound like the Bucs are about to switch to Plan B (Bats), does it? Stick with Plan A (Arms). Fortify that armory. Strong-arm the rest of the National League. Might be a good idea.

2 Comments

Another good post, Tom. When I hear anyone say “pitching and defense” I think of many great World Series teams. I’d also add the need to play smart, situational ball. Think back when the St Louis Browns moved to Baltimore. They had won one pennant in 53 years. Paul Richards became the gm and mgr of the Orioles and helped establish “The Oriole Way.” That was the franchise’ s philosophy for all of its players including the minors.Now, I am all in favor for pitching and defense for our Corsairs, but we also have to learn to play fundamentally sound ball and stay aware of the situation.

Horrible idea. If you look at the team statistics, McCutchen leads in every single offensive category, and there is nobody close to him. If you take him out of the picture, I’d seriously wonder if this team would’ve won a game. It’s like a blind man with his cane. He’ll bump into things and find his way around OK, but if you take away his cane, he is hopelessly lost. McCutchen is that cane. You need hitting. Period.

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