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.