Spring training is finally over and a brand new baseball season is here like a gift from the sports gods. This extra long Spring Training gave us a good look at all the Pittsburgh Pirates in camp, so here are the good and the bad from this year’s training camp.
Let’s start with the good. 24 year old outfielder Starling Marte led the team in hits, triples and stolen bases. He hit .323 and is simply fun to watch. I personally would rather watch guys leg out triples than crunch home runs.
First baseman Gaby Sanchez displayed some power, leading the team in both home runs and runs batted in. He did all this while drawing eight walks and striking out just three times in 43 at bats.
Set up man Mark Melancon was solid in 11 appearances as he allowed just two earned runs. He looked like the guy who excelled with the Houston Astros in 2011.
Now we look at the bad. Veteran outfielder Brad Hawpe was unable to make the team after striking out 18 times in 36 at bats. His batting average was just .139. As of yet, he hasn’t caught on with another team.
Russell Martin, the Pirates’ big free agent signing this offseason, managed to hit just .150 with no home runs. The Pirates don’t need a lot out of his bat this season, but it has got to be more than a .150 average.
Starting pitcher Kyle McPherson was a rotation hopeful, but he allowed 30 hits in just 22 1/3 innings pitched. He racked up three losses while allowing batters to hit .313 against him. He was sent down in the team’s final round of cuts.
Overall it was an average spring for the Pirates. They had a record of 13-18, but there are glimmers of hope. Now on to the games that matter.