Happy New Year to my friends, followers, and fellow Pittsburgh Pirates fans. New Year’s Day is the unofficial midpoint of the MLB offseason. Spring Training is right around the corner. Keep that in mind when you are singing Auld Lang Syne and watching the ball drop. To celebrate the occasion I’m offering up three suggestions for New Years’s Resolutions for the Pittsburgh Pirates to consider.
1) Run the bases smarter. It was tons of fun watching Josh Harrison make infielders look silly while escaping from rundowns, but I think we can all agree that JHay and his teammates are guilty of entirely too many TOOTBLANS. This one by Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez was just comically stupid.
It is time to resolve to put an end to the bad base running in 2015.
2) Pitch inside with precision. The Pirate pitching staff plunked 88 hitters last season. That was 19 more than any other team in baseball. Not only did this put additional runners on base, but it also put Andrew McCutchen at serious risk due to retaliation by opposing pitchers. Pirate pitchers need to pitch inside to be successful, but they need to do it with it some precision. Hitting 80+ batters in a season in unacceptable. Perhaps the Pirates should resolve to be a little more cautious when pitching on the inner half of the plate.
3) Use the entire roster. The Pirates treated Stolmy Pimentel like a Rule 5 selection. He rarely pitched unless the game was a blowout. The Bucs essentially wasted the 25th spot on the roster to carry Pimentel. This wasn’t the only inefficient roster management the team was guilty of. Manager Clint Hurdle was left shorthanded for most of the month of August because the team did not want to place McCutchen or Neil Walker on the disabled list despite injuries that left them unavailable for a couple of weeks.
Got any good Pirates New Year’s Resolution suggestions of your own? Tweet them to me @piratesvigorish. Happy New Year! Baseball will be here sooner than you know it.