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2006 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Preview

Pittsburgh Pirates Predictions – NL CENTRAL

OVERVIEW:

The Pirates’ brass is tired of losing, and they’ve put together a good mix of veterans and young players. They’ve got promising pitching, sound hitters, and heads-up fielders.

PITCHING:

The pressure is on Zach Duke (8-2, 2.92 ERA), Oliver Perez (7-5. 5.85 ERA) and Kip Wells (8-18, 5.09 ERA) to muster their talent and become the heart of a winning team. Overall the starters are a young group of guys who have shown great promise. It’s time to keep the promise.

The Pirates have improved their bullpen, but they also saw their closer, Jose Mesa (27 SV) go to Colorado. Who will be in that all important role? Reliever Mike Gonzalez may have the skill and metal make-up. Time will tell.

HITTING:

Jeromy Burnitz (.258, 24 HR), Sean Casey (.312, 9 HR) and Joe Randa (.276, 17 HR) bring a veteran presence to the Bucs. They can be true leaders in the next phase of the team’s rebuilding effort.

Jason Bay played all 162 games last season, hitting 32 homeruns, knocking in 101 runs, and crossing the plate 110 times. He also hit .306.

Pittsburgh was in the middle of the pack in batting last season; the new guys could help change that.

DEFENSE:

117 errors and a fielding percentage of .981 made the Pirates one of the worst clubs to play the field in 2005.

The infield highlight reel goes to second baseman Jose Castillo and shortstop Jack Wilson, while center fielder Chris Duffy offers outstanding “D” amongst the outfielders.
At third Joe Randa will provide sound play, although not spectacular, and Sean Casey will do the same at first.

The team on the field has improved and should play better this year.

MANAGER AND FRONT OFFICE:

• Jim Tracy comes from the Dodgers with a winning record. He wants to make the Pirates into a hot franchise.
• Owner Kevin McClatchy may want to unload the team—time for the instability tango?
• GM Dave Littlefield has made some good trades this year.

INTANGIBLES AND/OR OTHER STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES:

• Tracy isn’t looking to make excuses for the team; he wants wins.
• The team has had 13 straight losing seasons and can see the Phillies’ 16-year losing streak on the horizon. No one wants that record!
• Will new vets Sean Casey, Joe Randa, and Jeromy Burnitz provide the power and leadership this young team requires?

CONCLUSION:

This team can turn it around in 2006 and, for the first time in over a decade, have a winning season. Fans can hope they’ll be in the playoff hunt; if they are you’ll hear the term “miracle” used in tandem with Pittsburgh and Pirates. Jim Tracy can be a big factor in rebuilding this team.

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For more information on the 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates visit their official MLB website by clicking here.

 

2006 Baseball Team Previews

We have listed all of the 2006 MLB baseball teams below. Each team link will give you a team preview of the respected club. The left side is all of the american league previews, and the right columns contains all of the national league previews. To return to the main page click the 2006 MLB Season Preview link at anytime.


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