The Latest Pirates Buzz
The Pirates struggles in Milwaukee continue as the Brewers beat the Pirates 10-5 Monday night.
The Pirates rallied to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the 8th inning but the Pirates bullpen imploded, surrendering 5 runs. The Pirates are 11-8 through 19 games.
Moss batting .216 on the season.
With Nyjer Morgan among the Pirates top hitters this season, there is some talk that the Pirates have had internal discussions about using Andrew McCutchen in right field and going with an outfield of Morgan ‚Äì McLouth ‚Äì McCutchen, when the Pirates decide to call up McCutchen.
The Pirates will stick with right fielder Brandon Moss for the time being as the Pirates have to find out what they have in Moss.
It will be a PR nightmare if Moss doesn‚Äôt pan out as it will look like the Pirates basically traded Jason Bay for Andy Laroche, prospect Bryan Morris. This is a scenario to keep an eye around Memorial Day if the Pirates are still competitive in the standings.
Morgan, Sanchez catalyst of the Pirates 11-8 start
The Pirates are off to their best start in seven years and while the pitching staff deserves a lot of credit for the hot start, the two most important players have been left fielder Nyjer Morgan and second baseman Freedy Sanchez.
Statistically Morgan (.338 avg) and Sanchez (.359 avg) are among the league‚Äôs top tandem of #1 & #2 hitters.
With the Pirates top two power hitters in Nate McLouth and Ryan Doumit missing significant time early in the season, the Pirates have relied on Morgan and Sanchez offensively, getting timely hits and getting on base as the Pirates have little power in their lineup.
Unlikely help from Adam Laroche in April has also been an important piece to the Pirates 11-8 start.
Quality Starts from Pitching Staff
1. Paul Maholm ‚Äì 3 quality starts in 4 appearances
2. Ian Snell ‚Äì 2 quality starts in 4 appearances
3. Zach Duke ‚Äì 3 quality starts in 4 appearances
4. Ross Ohlendorf ‚Äì 3 quality starts in 4 appearances
5. Jeff Karstens ‚Äì 1 quality start in 3 appearances
The pitching staff will slow down. As a group they don‚Äôt strike out many batters and walk too many batters. The only pitchers with strikeout potential on the roster are Snell and Ohlendorf.
There is still speculation that the Pirates are keeping their options open regarding adding another starter. Karstens will be on a short leash.
Ian Snell had a very promising start on Friday against San Diego. He gave three early runs but he battled back and shutdown the Padres after that.
Usually he falters after giving up runs early but he has shown on two occasions this season against Cincinatti and San Diego that he may be maturing.
Paul Maholm (3-0) takes the mound for the Pirates on Tuesday.