Re: Pittsburgh Pirates... will 2012 see them surprise?
They'll be decent, especially for Pirate standards. This will be their best team in 21 years, but they'll still struggle to get over .500. I bet they finish right around 80 wins. They'll contend for a while and then fade. Similar to last year, but they'll be a better team. I like Hurdle as their manager. And I definitely think the top of their rotation led by Bedard, Burnett and Morton could be more-than solid. Big risk with Bedard and Burnett, but high reward. And if you're the Pirates, this is clearly the best team you've had in ages, so of course you're going to be excited. But they have no one in the middle of the order to provide punch. Teams will pitch around McCutchen -- and he should be more of a 2-hole hitter anyway, not the lynchpin 3-hole hitter. They'll have to rely guys like McGehee and Alvarez to provide punch and that is likely not going to happen. Alvarez has bust written all over him. This season will be huge for him. Also not sure about D'Arnaud at short. I'd like our very own Zack Cozart over him in a heartbeat. I do like the home-grown Walker kid at second. He'll help them score runs. But overall, they're going to struggle offensively big-time. I also think there is no chance Hanrahan will be anywhere near as good as he was last year as their closer.
Last edited by Blitz Dorsey; 02-18-2012 at 03:14 AM.