After a short off season celebrating the teams first world series championship. The Pirates are ready to defend their title. With an aging roster and financial pressures, there was some changes to the roster this off season.
Key additions: Cesar Martin came over in a trade with Toronto. Javy Nunez, Oscar Miller, Jonathan Diaz, and Omar Garrido were all free agent signings. Harry Richardson and Eric Francis are up from the minors.
Departures: Luis Cruz, Ryan Stewart, Geraldo Rosa and Esteban Valdes all left as free agents.
C: Andy Reagan and Glenn Knepper will platoon at this position.
1B: Javy Nunez will get most of the starts here Jonathan Diaz will be a key pinch hitter and see some time at first
2B: Bernard Shelley probably his last season with the team
SS: Harry Richardson late call up last season, he's here to stay this year. Will see some time at 3rd when Riley plays
Bill Riley on the bench this season
3B: Cesar Martin key season for Cesar as Pirates have to decide to resign him or let him walk Oscar Miller will be backup in the IF
LF: David Gomez
CF: Lance Howard
RF: Omar Garrido after he declined his option, we thought we lost him, but we got him back Alex Richardson 4th outfielder this season
SP1: Tim Loewer doesn't get the respect he deserves
SP2: Emil Sosa all he does is win
SP3: Ken Shumpert hoping for one more good season
SP4: Jimmie Torres had a disappointing regular season but turned it up in the playoffs
SP5: Felix Carter
LRA: Roger Mulholland
LRB: Dennis Wingo
SuA: Daniel Blackwell him and Coronado after that its pretty thin
SuA: Flash Leonard
SuB: Eric Francis
SuB: Todd Wolf
CLA: Andres Coronado not bad for a rule 5 pickup
The Pirates see no problem winning their NL North division title this season. This will give them 9 division titles in the past 11 seasons. The offense is stronger this season. The bench is deeper this season. The starting pitching remains strong. The bullpen is weak, but it was like that last season. Defense will be weaker with Riley on the bench, but this should even out with Riley not swinging a bat. Once in the playoffs some luck is needed, but the Pirates do have the Starting Pitching and a deeper, stronger offense to go on a run. I like our chances.