The 2013 season is 19 games old for the Pittsburgh Pirates; yet hot or cold starts are still nothing more than that in most cases due to the small sample size of the season. However, a hitter’s swing rate is something that tends to begin to stabilize early on in the season (at around 50 plate appearances) and the Bucs have eight hitters that can be examined using this statistic.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
After looking at Russell Martin’s start to the season, it’s natural that a fellow struggler who hit his first home run of the season against the Braves on Thursday night should follow. Many people saw Pedro Alvarez as one of the most important players on the roster if the Pirates are to be successful this season; however Alvarez will need to refine his approach at the plate if he’s going to hit for more than power this season.
When I wrote about the start of Russell Martin’s Pirates career at the plate yesterday, I stated that his low batting average on balls in play combined with his plate discipline indicated that he would likely see a turnaround in fortunes. What I didn't expect was to see an immediate example of how his selectivity at the plate will help him break out of his slump.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Russell Martin was the Pirates’ big free agent addition over the winter, signing the largest major league free agent contract in club history. While his Pirates career his started slowly offensively, he has helped the club defensively; FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan looked at the impact that Martin has had with his pitch framing skills and noted a big change for the Bucs. However, as good as Martin could be defensively he will soon need to offer something at the plate in order for him to have value to the club.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Prior to the suspension of Tuesday night’s game against the St Louis Cardinals, Jonathan Sanchez had given up two runs (one earned) over two innings – he gave up two hits while striking out three and walking just one hitter (with all the damage done in the first inning). With Francisco Liriano, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton either beginning to make rehab outings or close to it, the Pirates rotation has the potential to get overcrowded fairly soon. The question is where this leaves Sanchez in the future with the club.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Through the first thirteen games of the season, Starling Marte has a triple slash line of .370/.404/.519 in 57 plate appearances, picking up 20 hits – five of which went for extra bases (three doubles, one triple and a home run) - and is currently on a nine-game hitting streak. Marte has been the Pirates’ best hitter so far; his .402 wOBA is almost 50 points higher than Travis Snider’s .355 wOBA.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The Pirates offense has been that bad so far this season that it has overshadowed some very good pitching. The season is still very young and much will change, even over the next week, and not much can be garnered from this small sample size. However, what the early season statistics do show is the polar opposites of the club’s pitching and hitting so far in 2013.