By Zach Morrison @Zach_Morrison1 on March 15, 2014
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the deepest and most talented MLB organizations. For this reason, finding five players that deserve criticism because of their Spring Training performance was difficult. I found two obvious candidates, but the other three took a little digging. After reading through this slideshow, I'm sure you'll know which two were the obvious choices.
In 30 Spring Training plate appearances, Andrew Lambo has looked terrible, hitting just .074/.167/.074. Small sample size, sure, but are we supposed to trust this guy when he inevitably wins the left-handed first baseman job? I have my doubts.
Yuck. I still can't believe Edinson Volquez is the Pirates' problem. In 5.2 innings, Volquez has surrendered nine hits and three walks, resulting in a 14.29 ERA. Adding three home runs to the equation doesn't help his cause. Nonetheless, he's probably the Pirates' fifth starter out of Spring Training. Again, yuck.
Spring Training numbers don't matter, and they matter even less for veterans. However, Clint Barmes is a player that gets picked on a lot for his lack of hitting, so I assume folks are criticizing his poor start. In 19 plate appearances, Barmes has a .211/.211/.316 triple-slash line.
Don't worry, Lambo. Don't worry, Barmes. Chris Stewart makes you guys look like Babe Ruth at the plate! I'm only kidding, of course, but Stewart is hitting just .000/.071/.000 in 14 plate appearances. He's not expected to hit much, but hopefully he gets going a little bit before the season starts.
It's probably time to give up on Andy Oliver ever getting his career on the right track, ladies and gentlemen. His control is, to put it mildly, non-existent. In three Spring Training innings, Oliver has issued four walks. His career-low for BB/9 is 2.91, but that was at Double-A in 2010. Since then, he hasn't issued less than 4.25 BB/9. In 2013 at Triple-A, Oliver had 8.11 BB/9.
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