2009 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Update
It was just another losing season for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, making it 16 years since they have finished with a winning record.
It won't be any different this year, as the Pirates made no offseason moves and continue to be the laughingstock of baseball.
Shortstop Jack Wilson grew so tired of the inactivity that he spoke up and said he didn't want to return if he didn't see any desire from the front office to improve the club.
Wilson is back, but it certainly isn't because the team went out and made a bunch of moves to turn themselves into legitimate contenders.
Their biggest offseason acquisition was Eric Hinske, who was essentially limited to pinch-hitting duty over the past few years.
The lineup is not intimidating at all. Outfielder Nate McLouth led the club in almost every single offensive category last year and is considered their best player, but that isn't saying all that much.
The Pirates need first baseman Adam LaRoche to get off to a quicker start and have a big year in the middle of their lineup. LaRoche all too often struggles mightily the first three months and then catches fire. It's too late by then.
Freddy Sanchez is a respectable second baseman and Wilson is adequate at shortstop, but the infield has to be one of the worst in the National League.
The starting rotation isn't any good either, though I will say that there is at least some young talent. Paul Maholm and Tom Gorzelanny are solid starters who will keep the team in most games they start.
Zach Duke has been a major disappointment while Ian Snell shows flashes of brilliance only to look like any run-of-the-mill starter the next time out.
The Pirates won't be absolutely terrible, but they won't be far from it. They will likely beat out the Cincinnati Reds and avoid the cellar in the Central division, but they won't be far from it either.