“The Pirates do it right. They’re rebuilding the right way.”

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - At 26 years old, Zach Matson has seen a lot of baseball.

In 2016, he was a 24th round pick by the Baltimore Orioles. He was in the organization until 2021, when he was released and picked up by the Colorado Rockies.

Matson, who possesses a career strikeouts per nine of 11.2 in the minor leagues, was selected by the Pirates in the Minor League portion of the Rule Five Draft this past winter. Additionally in his travels, Matson has seen a few rebuilds.

“I saw a regime change through the Orioles,“ Matson said. “It feels like I’ve been with four organizations. The Pirates do it right. They’re rebuilding the right way. I saw the Orioles go through this rebuild. They are starting to see that now. They’re doing good things here. I think everyone should be very excite...



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Are we on the right path? We still are seeing guys come up and be totally overmatched. This supposedly super deep farm system may not have a single team in the playoffs. Our gm is claiming anyone that is breathing out of desperation. That does not seem to be encouraging at all.


Matson is viewing the Pirates rebuild from his perspective and that is fine, but he doesn’t see it from the perspective of people who have followed the Pirates for decades.
The Pirates are not an average major league franchise, they operate on a shoestring.
If the Pirates had Tampa’s front office and ownership yes, but they don’t.
Matson will be retired (hell Cruz will be too} from baseball and the Pirates will still be rebuilding.


LHP striking out over 11 per 9 is enticing. If we could lower those walks we might have something here


The headline, to me, was misleading. I expected a front office type to be quoted.

Personally. what a 26 year old minor league journeyman says, esp now that he is in our system, is to be taken with large doses of salt.

Tim Williams

People are people. Their experiences are all that matters.

Jobs are jobs. They’re meaningless titles.

Matson was there for the Orioles when they rebuilt, and he’s seeing how they do it here.

We could quote an executive whose job title you would respect more than Matson’s lowly position.

I can’t imagine any executive being in a better position to compare the two systems from the inside.

If you’re dismissing the opinion of Matson entirely over his job title, you’re doing yourself a disservice by ignoring his unique experience.


It’s stunning how the Orioles are held up as a beacon by rebuilders now. They’re ahead of schedule. That’s it. Which is good! But that’s no guarantee the Bucs are on the same path.

Tim Williams

I believe both teams are at different points on the same path.


So, are the Orioles model now? The quote sounds like they’re some successful finished product and the Pirates are destined to get there someday. The haven’t proven anything yet. The have had one surprising season and their still 3.5 games out of the wildcard. This isn’t the right way, many other teams have done this much faster. This way does guarantee that you have a bunch of unnecessary losing seasons.


I disagree with your last sentence, but that’s okay. I still feel that a new guy in the org, who is only on one team, can speak for the job being done at all of our other teams and the org as a whole.


Thanks for sharing how you FEEL, but next time, you should save it for your therapy sessions.

Tim Williams

I disagree with this sentiment. We’re all sharing how we feel, coming from different risk profiles. No one really knows anything conclusive. We’re all just comfortable with different levels of risk.


Sorry Tim, I personally don’t give two turds about leefieuxs’ prejudices, but if that’s the way he FEELS…


I am sorry that you FEEL that way, Anthony. But, somehow, I think I will get over it.

Tim Williams

You dismiss a lot of information as being too insignificant, looking for that one bit of infallible information to change your mind.

It’s a mirage.

All of these tiny pieces are part of a large puzzle, and no one knows what the picture on the box looks like except Ben Cherington.

Everyone in the entire organization can describe the picture by adding their piece of the puzzle.

We collect them and just give them to you in no order. It’s up to you to put the pieces together. We will eventually do that, but I just got home from about a month on the road watching Altoona, Greensboro, and Pittsburgh.

I’m seeing the borders forming and some big pieces coming together. I’ll be writing about it next week.


So, you’re saying I’m infallibly looking for something infallible? 🙂 🙂 :).

Seriously, the ONLY thing that will remove my skepticism is when the MLB product is a consistent WINNING product. Having gone thru just 4 winning seasons since 1992, I think my skepticism has been well earned.


Unfortunately, your first sentence summarizes about 99% of the subscriber base.


You DO realize that just a very small percentage of subscribers actually post comments?? So, unless you polled EVERY subscriber, your condescending remark is without merit.


And polls typically survey a very small percentage of a population…polls don’t survey an entire population, they sample within an accepted margin of error at a specified confidence interval, you know this right??


I dunno, he provided a statistic (though one that was made up) so now it is acceptable for his opinion to be put out there


Actually Tim made that comment a while back in one of his articles. Very few, percentage wise of the subscribers actually comment. So, it is not made up….at worst, it is an approximation.

Tim Williams

It’s less than 5% of users, by my estimate. I’ve always been trained to assume any opinion might reflect a shared sentiment among the silent majority.


Huh I’d assume it’s the angry minority that speaks the most


Just doing my best to fit in around here.


Try harder! It’s one thing to be critical of Ben’s building process. It is quite another to be critical of the good people who post on here.

Last edited 21 days ago by leefieux

Bahaha, the guy who literally starts the convo by marginalizing the opinion of another bc they’re a minor league “journeyman” is playing victim and lecturing me on being critical of others. I may be critical of one’s opinion, but I’m not judging others based on their age, profession, or experiences. I’m good; you do you Foo.


Amen Foo, keep on truckin.


He’s not so old that he can’t be a part of the next good Pirates team. I prefer hearing this over the alternative.


The only time you’ll hear negativity about the job BC is doing IS from outside the organization. That, to me, is the more objective view. But, we will see in the next 2-3 years if BC DOES know what he is doing, I’m not getting warm fuzzies so far, but .I still haven’t lost complete hope. I am just not optimistic at this point. I was more optimistic at this same point if time with NH’s rebuilding job. Time WILL tell.


Gee, I hear plenty of negativity on P2, and we are more engaged and knowledgeable than most fans. But I haven’t heard this from industry sources. Well, OK, Kevin Kramer, but I discount for several reasons.

I personally think BC was a great hire.




Feelings and opinions are what comments are for. You don’t need to respond like this.


I miss the days when these discussion threads were more than the streaming conscious of obvious takes and the never-ending flow of baseless opinions.

I respect and appreciate an opinion that’s supported, regardless if I agree or disagree, but honestly, why would anyone here care about how you or I FEEL about something?

Let’s do better!


Why am I now singing ‘Feelings…..nothing more than feelings’? Thx for the ear worm, Bud.


To me the greatest fraud Cherington has perpetrated is pretending one can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. He may very well be building “the right way” in the minor leagues, even if it’s far from conclusive from the outsider’s POV. But hey, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

Does the “right way” require you to intentionally punt two entire major league seasons? You’re telling me he couldn’t have fielded a semi-competent squad at the same time? Had to spend two years cycling through dozens of castoff post-prospects and non-prospects, while burning the service time (and patience?) of the few building blocks he did have to work with? Holding onto Polanco and Tsutsugo months beyond the point where it was obvious they had nothing left? Not even leveling with the dwindling fan base that wants just some kind of sign that better days are ahead, instead of the pure bullshit self-congratulatory “this is what we’ve been working on” when one of his AAAA retreads lucks into a 2-hit night or a clean inning.

It did not have to be this way. 4 years of 100 losses (prorating 2020) and “don’t look over there, just trust us, there’s a plan and you’ll love it!” He dug a deep credibility hole with how few fucks he’s given for the ML franchise. Let’s see if he can climb his way out of it.


Does the “right way” require you to intentionally punt two entire major league seasons? Yep. It took the Astros six.


It took Jeff Luhnow of Astros only 4 years to win a wild-card berth in 2015. Next season is BC’s fourth with the Pirates.


Tru dat. Luhnow was hired in December 2011, so the 2012 season was his first. (Remarkably, the 2011 season – a 106 loss doozy – was the Stros trying sorta kinda to win. They’d traded Oswalt and Berkman at the 2010 deadline but still had Pence, Lee and Bourne on offense and returned 4 of their 5 starters, plus their closer – some dude named Melancon).

Luhnow sold off everyone either at the 2011 deadline or in the offseason.

2012 – 55 wins
2013 – 51 wins
2014 – 70 wins (oh, what we would do for a 70-win team…)
2015 – 86 wins, wildcard

Comparing apples to apples, we’re in the 2014 Astros part of the timeline, but 10 wins behind their pace.


Good post. Hopefully the money that they’ve saved by not fielding a competitive team is being saved for use later. Time will tell on that one too.


I was going to say if you believe that, I’ve got a ski resort to sell you but…nah.

I just don’t see why he would ever open up the wallet after years and years of profits and no shame.

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