No, the Pirates aren't going to contend in 2010 (or probably 2011, for that matter) but that doesn't mean the directionless days of years past are continuing. "A lot of fans would like us to get to 82 wins, but that's not our goal, says Pirates GM
Last June and July alone, Huntington made seven trades, jettisoning, among others,
And so the Pirates are moving ahead this season with the core of
Is there a faster player in baseball than 23-year-old Andrew McCutchen? "
Two years ago the Pirates allowed a league-worst 884 runs. Last year, in Pirates pitching coach
Remember him? Top catching prospect with the Mariners, former All-American at USC. Only three years ago
Taped above Sanchez's spring training locker is a card autographed by Pirates catcher
There's been a lot of talk about a defensive revolution in baseball ... but don't count the Pirates as part of the revolution. For some of last year the Pirates were a good defensive team, but as Huntington says, they "took a couple steps backwards defensively" when Wilson and Sanchez were traded last summer, and the front office made no moves this winter to improve team fielding. Clement's glove at first will also be a big liability. "We're aware that this may not be as good a fielding team," says Huntington. "But we think an improvement in our run production is going to offset what may be a weaker defense."