At a certain point, the Pittsburgh Pirates should be competitive to the point where we can finally discuss defense honestly.
One given is that Ke’Bryan Hayes is good. He is really good. Defensive metrics can be difficult to understand and it’s hard to determine which are best to go by, but Hayes is atop defensive leaderboards in all categories. Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) has him first among 3B with 19 DRS. Using Outs Above Average (OAA) he’s first again with 15 OAA.
On the opposite spectrum, 2021 is looking like an anomaly and Bryan Reynolds should be moved off CF sooner than later. Of center fielders with at least 500 innings, he’s 26th out of 27 with -9 DRS. Using OAA he is dead last out of 45 with a -6 OAA.
When using a minimum of 50 attempts on Baseball Savant, only four players (aside from Hayes) even register above 0 in OAA, with Jake Marisnick (+6 OAA) being one and not with the team: Tucupita Marcano (+3 ), Greg Allen (+2), and Jack Suwinski (+2).
Jack Suwinski is promising being that his defense wasn’t highly thought of by scouts. He’s played 336.2 innings in LF (3 DRS & 0 OAA ), 90 innings in CF (1 DRS & 1 OAA), and 247 innings in RF (2 DRS & 1 OAA).
Marcano’s defense is rated better at 2B (-1 DRS & 4 OAA) than in LF (-1 DRS & -1 OAA), but he’s going to need to hit more if he’s to try and sustain a starting role.
The main man everyone wants to talk about is Oneil Cruz. This is where metrics begin really disagreeing and get fishy. If you use DRS of SS’s with at least 550 innings, he’s tied with Xander Bogaerts for 13th out of 27 with 2 DRS. If you use OAA then he ranks 28th out of 37 at -3 OAA.
There is a lot of potential with some of the young kids, but at a certain point management is going to need to look into improving in all facets of the game. Putting players in the best position to succeed. The whole “respecting your players” argument bothers me in seeing a preference toward a veteran preference, even if it’s detrimental to the team. When you use Andrew McCutchen as an example, he almost immediately moved off of center field when he left Pittsburgh, yet was expected to stay there if in Pittsburgh. With someone like Cruz, you could get by with what mostly grades out as average defense because of his bat’s potential.
On Thursday night the Pirates didn’t have it on either side of the ball.
JT Brubaker lasted three innings with five earned runs against. He eventually left the game with what was described as right lat discomfort. You have to wonder if the may shut him down for the rest of the season.
The Pirates offense only had four hits against the New York Mets. Bryan Reynolds collected two in four at-bats while Michael Chavis had the other two hits with their only extra base hit (a double) in three AB’s.
The Pirates offense struck out 16 times with Mets starter Carlos Carrasco whiffing 11 batters.
Eric Stout threw two innings with two walks, a hit, two strike outs, and an earned run.
Robert Stephenson had a clean inning on only 9 pitches.
Then Yohan Ramirez threw the last two innings with two hits, two walks, three strike outs and one earned run.
Game ended 7-1 with the Pirates four game winning streak coming to a halt.
Pirates @ Mets
Time: 7:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (5-10, 4.01)
Mets Starter: Taijuan Walker (11-4, 3.48)
Keller Notes: Mitch Keller threw seven shutout innings in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals, which is two consecutive shutouts over 13.0 combined innings. He is currently 5.2 IP from surpassing his 2018 season of 142.1 IP in the minors which is a career high. Keller has been mixing his pitch usage in each of his recent starts without an exact trend showing itself yet.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 16, 2022
Back in black. #LGM
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 16, 2022