Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Season Preview

Baseball season is just around the corner, so it is once again time to go into depth on how the Pirates will look in the upcoming 2017 season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off of a lackluster 2016 campaign, where they finished with a 78-83 record, missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Their core talent looks to rebound in 2017 hoping to send the Pirates back to the postseason.

Over the course of the past five seasons, the Pirates have been able to slowly bring winning baseball back to a city that was desperate for some hope. The Pirate’s resurgence can be linked back to a few different players, but most notably the experienced veteran Andrew McCutchen.

The star centerfielder has helped carry the Pirates since the first day he stepped into a starting role eight years ago. However, in the offseason the Pirates front office threw around the question of whether he should stay in Pittsburgh or be traded for younger talent. McCutchen felt the trade rumors swirling as well, since he was talked about so much on ESPN and MLB Network. After all of this, Andrew McCutchen remains with the Pirates (for now) and he showed up to spring training with a positive attitude, despite the rough offseason. Other challenges may still arise, for example, he will have to concede his center field position to fellow outfielder Starling Marte, as McCutchen will move to right field in 2017.

McCutchen stated, “The dream is to be in a Pirates uniform – playing center field until I can’t play it anymore, winning countless World Series, MVPs, All-Stars and all that stuff. That’s great. But reality hits. It’s not necessarily going to always be that way.”

Another reason why the Pirates can come back from a tumultuous 2016 is because of their blooming talent they have in their starting rotation.

Ace, Gerrit Cole hopes to get back into form this season after a disheartening 2016 to say the least. Jameson Taillon hopes to become the ace that the front office thinks he can be. The Pirates were able to re sign veteran starter Ivan Nova to a three year, $26 million contract. Tyler Glasnow and Chad Kuhl are going to have to step up at some point and pitch key innings. Despite the Pirates not having a set fifth starter, they think they can find it in the latter days in spring training.

The rest of the starters, such as Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, David Freese, and Josh Harrison are going to have to have to limit mistakes and get on base consistently for Pittsburgh to be competitive in a division that screams talent.

Amongst everything, the Pittsburgh Pirates of 2017 will have to play hard and with dedication if they want to make it back to the promise land also known as the postseason. Error free baseball and executing with runners on base will be major factors in the games they play this season. The Pirates manager, Clint Hurdle, likes to preach that the only objective when you go out there on that field is to score one more run than the other team. The Pirates hope they can do plenty of that as they begin the 2017 campaign.

Shanksville Senior '17...Future Communications Student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

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