I’m not sure why, but today I picked up a game program from the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates season. I flipped through it and realized that the 2010 Pirates were absolutely terrible in terms of talent.
Obviously I knew they were bad, but looking back, I was amazed at just how bad.
Let’s start with the pitching staff. In 2010, the staff included guys like Jose Ascanio, D.J. Carrasco and Wil Ledezma in the bullpen. Now it includes arguably the best setup man in all of MLB, Mark Melancon, the current MLB saves leader Jason Grilli and great young arms like Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris.
The rotation included average pitchers like Zach Duke and Paul Maholm. Now the rotation has above-average pitchers like A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano. Also, with guys like Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon lurking in the minor leagues, the Pirates are in good shape in terms of pitching.
Offensively, the talent was possibly even worse. Instead of having hitters like Starling Marte, the MVP-caliber Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin, the 2010 version of the Pirates included the likes of Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Doumit.
The 2013 Pirates have guys like Jose Tabata, Jordy Mercer and Gaby Sanchez coming off the bench. Most of the guys coming off the bench for the 2010 Pirates aren’t even in the major leagues anymore. Delwyn Young, Bobby Crosby and Jason Jaramillo were all real players that played for that team.
The reason I wrote this is just to show how much has changed with this franchise in just a few years. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington really has done a good job, as much as nobody wants to admit it. For that, Huntington, I thank you.