Although the future looks bright with arms like Gerrit Cole set to make his major league debut, Clint Hurdle and the Pirates are still a year or two away from winning the National League Central.
Andrew McCutchen is the face of this franchise and rightfully so as he posted MVP-worthy numbers in 2012 smashing a dazzling 31 home runs, scoring over 100 runs and finishing with a batting average of .327. With the future of the organization on his shoulders I think we can expect another big season from the two-time All-Star.
Changes this offseason were few and far between, but the team will feature a new catcher who is returning back to the National League for the first time since 2010. Russell Martin is the new Pirates backstop and had a career-high 21 home runs for the New York Yankees last season. If Martin can bring that kind of production to the Pirates this year then my prediction may be proved wrong.
I don’t have very high expectations for this team in 2013 and mainly because they still lack depth in the pitching staff–aside from A.J Burnett this team is fairly thin at starting pitcher with the back-end made up of inconsistent starters like Francisco Liriano who the team signed this offseason to a deal.
As bad as I would like to see the Pirates end this skid and return to the postseason I don’t see them making a run as they will finish in fourth place in the NL Central with a 79-63 record in 2013.