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2012 MLB Season Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

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2012 Season Outlook

What derailed the Pirates chances of having a winning record in 2011? It was pitching, and that’s what the front office went out to acquire this offseason in order to make this club better. Obviously, the biggest move that was made (outside of the Andrew McCutchen signing) was the trade for A.J. Burnett. He’s getting a fresh start in a smaller market, and will act as a veteran presence for a young team without much playoff experience. Unfortunately, the bunting incident won’t allow Burnett to take the hill for the Bucs until a few

months from now.

The biggest obstacle for this team to overcome in 2012 is to stay consistent throughout the entire season. If it wasn’t for their bad August last year, their consecutive losing-seasons streak very well could have been over. The starting pitching is going to have to step up and take the lead for the entire staff. The team ERA wasn’t horrible last year at 4.04 (11th in NL), but their 1.41 WHIP was second-worst in the league, which needs to be addressed in 2012. There are a lot of question marks in their starting rotation; Erik Bedard hasn’t played a full season since 2007, Kevin Correia made the All-Star team with 11 first-half wins, but only won one game after the break, and who knows how A.J. is going to perform.

Even though Pittsburgh has some good core players on the offensive side and added some more fire power with Casey McGehee off the bench, pitching will ultimately be the demise for the Pirates this year. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols aren’t in their division anymore, but the Brewers and Cardinals are still ahead of them, and the Reds will be making some noise this year as well. If they can play well in the division, they have a shot to break their streak. I think they’ll make another step forward, but a very small one, ending up somewhere between 75-80 wins.