5 Reasons Pittsburgh Pirates Will Finish Above .500

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The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Finish Above .500 In 2013

Andrew McCutchen
Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t finished above .500 in 20 years. Everyone knows that. Pirates’ fans have had to suffer through so many seasons of losing, and I think the majority of baseball fans, writers and experts hope the Pirates are able to finish above .500 in 2013.

Let’s take a look at what happened in 1992, the last time the Pirates finished above .500. The Mall of America was constructed, popular films such as Aladdin, Home Alone 2 and Wayne’s World were released and Rugrats was one of the top children’s shows on television. Some significant things that have occurred since 1992 including the O.J. Simpson mess, a new millennium and the horrific September 11, 2001 attacks.

I think this is the year, 2013, that the Pirates will finally be able to break the streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons. The Pirates have a very nice young core of players and some veterans on the team that are actually able to contribute.

So many seasons in the past have seen Pirates rosters that included veterans that weren’t able to contribute on the field, such as Lyle Overbay, Matt Diaz, Erik Bedard and Ramon Vazques. Every team needs to have a good balance of young talent and veterans that are able to help the younger players get through the grueling 162 games that make up a MLB season. So, let’s take a look at the five reasons the Pirates will finish above .500 in 2013.

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A.J. Burnett

Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

A.J. Burnett is the vocal leader of the Pirates' starting rotation, and he has been the most consistent starting pitcher for the Pirates in 2013. The Pirates will go as far as Burnett and the staff ace, Wandy Rodriguez, can take them.

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Russell Martin

Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

Having Russell Martin behind the plate is not only an upgrade on offense from 2012, but it is also a huge upgrade on defense. Martin has already thrown out more base stealers than Rod Barajas in all of 2012.

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Starling Marte

Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

Starling Marte is proving to be a reliable lead-off hitter for the Pirates. He has shown the ability to get on base, not necessarily by drawing many walks, but by being able to hit himself on base. He has great speed and power. He is a true five tool player, like his friend in center field, Andrew McCutchen.

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Rotation Depth

Vincent Pugliese-USA Today Sports

This season, unlike 2012, the Pirates have extra quality starting pitchers. The current rotation consists of A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jeff Locke and Jeanmar Gomez. Francisco Liriano, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton are all working their way back from injuries.

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Help On The Farm

Gerrit Cole
Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

The Pirates don't necessarily have a lot of immediate help in the farm system, but they have a decent amount. Top prospect Gerrit Cole should be ready to pitch in the majors at some point in 2013, so if they do need him, he will be ready to take the next step. Kyle McPherson is also in Triple-A right now, and he saw time in the majors in 2012. In his short time with the Pirates, he pitched effectively.