Pittsburgh Pirates fans had little to cheer about in 2005. The only real intense area for the club was the ongoing improvement of outfielder Jason Bay (.206 32 101) who played in all 162 video games in 2005 for the group. Beyond Bay there was little offense to speak of for the whole season. Only 1st basemen Daryle Ward (.280 12 63) and beginner Brad Eldred (.221 12 27) did much while sophomore 2nd baseman Jose Castillo (.268 11 53) provided the rest of offense for the Buc’s 2005 lineup.
Pittsburgh’s beginning pitching in 2006 was nearly non-existent. Dave Williams (10-11 4.41) led the staff with 10 wins, while Kip Wells (8-18 5.09), beginners Mark Redman (5-15 4.90) joined Oliver Perez (7-5 5.85), novice Zach Duke (8- 1 1.81 in 14 game starts) and Josh Fogg (6-11 5.05) to complete the remainder of the Pirate rotation. Closer Jose Mesa (2-8 4.76 37 saves) handled to appear in 55 games in order to help keep things interesting. The Pirates completed the season with a last location 67-95 record.
Off Season Relocations:
General Supervisor Dave Littlefield attended to the Pirates offensive needs by signing free agent slugger Jeromy Burnitz (.258 24 87) along with first baseman Sean Casey (.312 8 58) who can be found in a trade with the Reds for lefty starter Dave Williams. Third baseman Joe Randa (.275 17 68) was likewise signed via free firm from San Diego.
The Pirates likewise picked up free representative reducer Roberto Hernandez (2.58 AGE in 67 looks for the Mets in ’05) in order to complete the rest of their 2006 bullpen.
Expect Jason Bay to have another huge year for the Pirates. The addition of Casey Randa and Burnitz for a small market group is outstanding. All 3 players should be able to add to their 2005 numbers in this lineup. Randa in specific will be fascinating to view. Anticipate Jose Castillo and Ward’s numbers to also go up with the better defense they will get by the additions.
Hernandez took pleasure in a comeback season with the Mets showing to be a trustworthy arm in their bullpen. The Mets didn’t want to take the chance that he would duplicate his 2005 efficiency so they enabled him to leave via totally free agency. The Pirates are enthusiastic that the Mets loss is their gain. Hernandez preserved great velocity throughout the season and kept the Mets in race for the 2005 NL East.
Naturally Littlefield has enhanced his power from his corner infield spots, and because Randa and Casey are decent at getting on base the Pirate offense need to be better in 2006. The Pirates will rely on Duke to pitch in more video games in 2006 and hope he is a player they can develop the rotation around. Still the beginning pitching is unsteady. The Pirates will be wanting to get to a minimum of a. 500 record in 2006, somewhere they haven’t been because the 1992 season. They remain a young team with a lot of pluses.