The question now is about whether or not the Pirates are going to have a winning season not whether or not they get to the postseason. And how big a seller will the Pirates be at the deadline.
I say this because it is hard to think the Pirates are trying much to win right now. Today’s line up was familiar of the early 2000s. When your line up includes Rodriguez and Kratz and Joyce, you are in big trouble. I understand Marte went down with an injury, and it is probably a normal day off for Cutch. But this is awful.
First, Stallings is a better option than Kratz. Hitting a whopping .050 going into today’s game should prove that. Second, we have better options than Rodriguez right now. Frazier or Moroff could give you all the flexibility defensively as Rodriguez (since you don’t need to cover first as Freese can do that), and probably hit better than .250 with a high strikeout potential. Third, yesterday the Pirates started Wilfred Boscan. Now, Glasnow has not allowed a hit in his last 12 innings in AAA. I get it he probably does need more work on the change up and seeing multiple games without a loss of control for an inning would be nice, but the Pirates are falling out of contention for anything and Glasnow gives you a better shot than Boscan. At some point you have to give it a go now. You could always demote Glasnow after the game if you think Nicasio will be back for the next start. But Boscan imploded as did the bullpen. Would Glasnow have done that? Was it really because Glasnow’s rest was one day off. Probably not.
To show you how bad it is today up 1-0 on the Giants in the 2nd inning, the Pirates had a runner at third with nobody out, but you knew he was not going to score. Due up were Kratz, Rodriguez, and then pitcher Jon Niese. All three struck out. Not even a sac fly from Kratz or Rodriguez. That is unacceptable baseball, especially when your two best players are on the bench. The trio of Kratz, Joyce, and Rodriguez went 1 for 9 with Joyce pulling in two walks, and Rodriguez managing a meaningless hit late in the game. Kratz ended the game with a .043. That is also his OBP because he has not even drawn a walk.
It is going to be fun to watch the prospects get some big league playing time this year, but it is painful to watch the Pirates tank so that becomes necessary.