By Zach Morrison @Zach_Morrison1 on April 9, 2014
The Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a great 5-2 start, and while it wouldn't be a surprise to see them in the postseason again, it is hard to expect them to keep winning five out of every seven games. The length of the MLB season comes with goods and bads. The fact that there are baseball games on every night until November is good. Fans overreacting to small sample sizes is very bad.
It is certainly nice to see Pedro Alvarez walking more than he is striking out so far in 2014, but 32 plate appearances is just way too small of a sample size to draw any conclusions from. Alvarez's best season for drawing walks came in 2012 when he walked in 9.7 percent of his trips to the plate. He is walking in 18.8 percent of his plate appearances this season.
In his brief career, Starling Marte has seemingly been afraid to draw a walk. In 2014, he is walking in 14.3 percent of his plate appearances. His previous high was 4.4 percent in 2012 and in 2013. Based on his track record, and his obvious free-swinging tendencies, Marte won't keep this up.
Early in the 2014 season, Charlie Morton has a 1.50 HR/9. In 2013, it was a sparkling 0.47 HR/9. Last season, Morton induced ground-balls 62.9 percent of the time, and this year, he's getting batters to hit balls on the ground just 52.9 percent of the time. Morton's sinker is far too good to keep allowing home runs at this rate.
It's hard to believe, but Travis Ishikawa, a .260/.324/.402 career hitter is hitting .294/.350/.588 with a 154 wRC+ in 20 plate appearances this season for the Pirates. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him keep playing well, but he won't continue to hit well enough to earn a spot on the All-Star roster.
Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has a good track record for fixing pitchers, but Edinson Volquez is a tough task. His career 4.5 BB/9 is ugly, but so far in 2014, Volquez has looked very good. In 7.2 innings, he has 7.04 K/9 and just 1.17 BB/9 with a 57.1 ground-ball percentage. I hope Searage fixed Volquez, but let's not overreact over one start.
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