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Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Or in my case, doomed to repeat Partial Differential Equations 315A. We'll see what we can learn about the 2005 Pittsburgh Pirates by looking back at the 1980s.

This review is very simple. We examine each position by looking at who played there last season and who is likely to play there this year. We examine how each player is likely to perform by using Dan Szymborski's excellent ZiPS projections and by using our knowledge of 1980s baseball.

Comparing 2005 to the 1980s

I looked at the PECOTA "Most Comparable Players" list for a player from the 1980s who was (in my view) the most representative comp for the player in question. This wasn't necessarily the best comp, or even the best 80's comp, but in all but one case, I was able to find a player from the 1981-1990 ERA. In cases where there were multiple players who made for decent comparisons, I generally picked the one from the latter end of the period, as I remember those players (and seasons) better.

What's Changed Since Last Year?

There were several key moves made in the last 6 months.
July 30 - Trade With Mets
ADD  - 3B Ty Wigginton
ADD  -  P Matt Peterson
ADD  - IF Jose Bautista
DROP -  P Kris Benson
DROP - IF Jeff Keppinger

November 27 - Trade With A's
ADD  -  P Mark Redman
ADD  -  P Arthur Rhodes
DROP -  C Jason Kendall

December 11 - Trade With Indians
ADD  - OF Matt Lawton
DROP -  P Arthur Rhodes

December 16 - Trade With Royals
ADD  -  C Benito Santiago
DROP -  P Leo Nunez

Free Agent Signings
Jan.  6 - 1B Graham Koonce
Jan. 25 - OF Ben Grieve
Feb.  3 - IF Howie Clark

Mar.  8 - Released C J.R. House
Overall, not too many changes to this Pirates club. They've lost one of their better starters in Benson, but picked up a servicable #3 starter in Redman. They've also lost their arguably their best position player in Jason Kendall, but have solidified a couple positions by adding 3B Ty Wigginton and OF Matt Lawton. It seems appropriate that we start at the position of catcher.


Last Season
Jason Kendall  - 1259 Innings - .319/.399/.390
Humberto Cota  -  133 Innings - .227/.271/.500
Note that these battting lines are for the entire 2004 season and not necessarily the lines the player put up a that particular position for just the Pirates. This distinction does not matter for Kendall and Cota, but will be important later on when discussing players who played multiple positions or for multiple teams last year.

The innings figure, though, reflects time at that position and only with the Pirates.

Now we've got the disclaimers out of the way, we can examine the catching position. Kendall was excellent for the Bucs last year, with an on-base percentage of almost .400 while hitting out of the lead-off spot. There will be quite a drop-off this season, as the catching duties will be split by the ageless Benito Santiago, who was acquired from the Royals, and last year's backup Humberto Cota. Ronny Paulino will start the season in AAA, but will likely see some action this season as it is unlikely both Santiago and Cota will stay healthy all year.

Benito Santiago

ZiPS projection: .238/.279/.357 - 328 AB
80's comparable: Carlton Fisk (1988)
The 40 year old Carlton Fisk played in 76 games for the White Sox in 1988, all of them at catcher. He put up a terrific .277/.377/.542 line and would play for the White Sox until 1993 - his age 45-season. Is it possible that Santiago will still be playing 5 years from now?

Humberto Cota

ZiPS projection: .239/.302/.374 - 289 AB
80's comparable: Tom Nieto (1987)
Nieto was one of the cast of thousands that the Expos sent in February 1987 to the Twins in order to obtain the services of Jeff Reardon. He spent that year splitting catching duties with Tim Laudner and Sal Butera, hitting .200/.276/.314. Sure that's pretty lousy, but he did win a World Series ring. That's more than you've ever done.

Ronny Paulino

ZiPS projection: .245/.301/.399 - 331 AB
80's comparable: Orlando Mercado (1986)
Mercado spent the 1980s bouncing between major league teams as primarily a third-string catcher. He and Gino Petralli spent the 1986 season backing up Don Slaught in Texas. That year he'd hit .235/.279/.294 in 102AB. It was the best year of his major league career.

First Base

Last Season
Daryle Ward    -  559 Innings - .249/.305/.474
Craig Wilson   -  494 Innings - .264/.354/.499
Randall Simon  -  335 Innings - .188/.266/.266
The Bucs should get a lot more production this year from addition by subtraction now Randall Simon with his .188 average is no longer with the club. Ward and Wilson seemed to play everywhere last year, as both saw time in the outfield and at DH in interleague games. I expect that they'll split duties at first roughly evenly this year.

Last year's minor league player of the year Brad Eldred probably will not see time in Pittsburgh until the rosters expand in September.

Craig Wilson

ZiPS projection: .267/.361/.490 - 490 AB
80's comparable: Nick Esasky (1988)
Esasky struggled in 1988, hitting .243/.327/.412 in 391AB. Esasky suffered from vertigo and would be out of baseball by 1990, at just 30 years old. Don't expect this to happen to Wilson.

Daryle Ward

ZiPS projection: .257/.309/.433 - 381 AB
80's comparable: Larry Sheets (1989)
Sheets had a monster 1987 season with the Orioles, hitting .316 with 31 homeruns in only his 3rd major league season. Unfortunately he would never have that level of success again; in 1989 he hit .243 with just 7 homeruns in 304 AB. He was essentially done by 30 years old as well, though he did appear in 11 games at age 33 for the 1993 Mariners.

Brad Eldred

ZiPS projection: .237/.284/.456 - 447 AB
80's comparable: Mark Brouhard (1981)
Does anybody remember this guy? I vaguely remember opening packs of cards trying to get a Kirby Puckett or Jose Canseco rookie card and instead getting piles of guys like Mark Brouhard and Tito Landrum. Anyhow, Brouhard was a 1B/OF/DH who played in 6 major league seasons, all with the Brewers. In 1981 he hit .274 with 2 homeruns in 186 ABs.

Second Base

Last Season
Jose Castillo  -  951 Innings - .256/.298/.368
Bobby Hill     -  255 Innings - .266/.353/.339
Abe Nunez      -  197 Innings - .236/.275/.319
Castillo will be back this year, but Hill might not be as he's competing with Ben Grieve for the final roster spot on the team. Former Red Sox prospect Freddie Sanchez will backup Castillo at second and Jack Wilson at shortstop.

Jose Castillo

ZiPS projection: .267/.318/.365 - 446 AB
80's comparable: Billy Ripken (1989)
Ripken had a fairly average season by his standards in 1989, putting up a .239/.284/.305 line in 318ABs. The most memorable thing that happened to Billy Ripken in 1989 was having a Fleer baseball card issued with the two words F*** FACE written on the knob of his bat.

Freddy Sanchez

ZiPS projection: .282/.354/.386 - 331 AB
80's comparable: Jerry Dybzinski (1983)
Jerry Dybzinski showed the world that kids with unpronouncable Eastern European surnames could grow up to be major league baseball players. This seems like a very unfair comp for Sanchez, because Dybzinski couldn't hit water if he fell out of canoe. His 1983 year with the Indians was the best year of his career. In 256 AB he put up a .230/.283/.289 line.


Last Season
Jack Wilson    - 1355 Innings - .308/.335/.459
Abe Nunez      -   58 Innings - .236/.275/.319
Where did that season from? In his previous three years in the majors, Wilson hit .223, .252, .256. He always struck me as a poor man's Ozzie Smith, as he's a Gold Glove caliber shortstop (though not nearly as flashy as Ozzie, hence the "poor man" bit) who doesn't hit much. Ozzie got better with the stick as he got older and it looks like Wilson will as well. He even won a Silver Slugger award last season!

It's been a noteworthy off-season for Wilson as he signed a two-year deal with the club. He also had an emergency appendectomy on December 21st and subsequently lost 20 pounds. He'll be ready by opening day, though he admits he hasn't gained back all the strength he had.

Jack Wilson

ZiPS projection: .286/.326/.413 - 623 AB
80's comparable: Rafael Ramirez (1985)
I've compared Jack Wilson to a poor man's Ozzie Smith; that pretty much sums up Rafael Ramirez. Ramirez, who spent most of the 1980s with the Braves, had terrific range but was somewhat error prone. A year after playing in the 1984 All-Star Game, Ramirez would hit .248 with 5 homeruns in 568 ABs. In the 1980s, these were pretty common numbers coming from a shortstop.

Third Base

Last Season
Ty Wigginton   -  442 Innings - .261/.324/.433
Rob Mackowiak  -  411 Innings - .246/.319/.420
Chris Stynes   -  391 Innings - .216/.266/.296
Bobby Hill     -  159 Innings - .266/.353/.339
That line on Wigginton is a bit misleading as he hit only .220/.306/.341 with the Pirates last year. Third base was an ongoing source of problems for the club in 2004, but should be much better in 2005, particularly if Wigginton can put up numbers resembling his ZiPS forecast.

Rob Mackowiak will be back with club in a super-sub role. Last season Mackowiak played at third, first, and all three outfield positions. This year his playing time will likely be reduced, but he could become a starter if sometthing happens to Wigginton or centerfielder Tike Redman.

If Bobby Hill makes the team he may play a handful of games at third for the Pirates. Chris Stynes won't, as he's now an Oriole.

Ty Wigginton

ZiPS projection: .264/.336/.424 - 538 AB
80's comparable: Brook Jacoby (1987)
Jacoby had a terrific 1987 for the Cleveland Indians, hitting .300 with 32 homeruns. He only managed to collect 69 RBIs, though. Who was hitting in front of him? Cory Snyder? Joe Carter? Mel Hall? Jacoby is another player who did not age particularly well, leaving baseball at the end of tthe 1992 season. He was just 32 years old.

Rob Mackowiak

ZiPS projection: .248/.326/.410 - 459 AB
80's comparable: Randy Bush (1987)
Another 1987 Minnesota Twin. Maybe that's Pittsburgh's plan: emulate the 1987 Twins and hope to get the same magic. Why not?

This isn't a great comparison since Bush was primarily an outfielder and never played third base. Bush had a decent 1987 season for the Twins, puttting up a .253/.349/.413 line while hitting 11 homeruns and stealing 10 bases. The Pirates would be happy with a similar performance from Mackowiak.

Bobby Hill

ZiPS projection: .254/.342/.369 - 409 AB
80's comparable: Bob Meacham (1988)
One of the fun things about late 1980's baseball is that the Yankees were just another team and routinely played guys like Bob Meacham. 1988 would be Meacham's last season in the majors. He hit .217/.308/.296 then left the majors for goood at age 27.


Last Season
Jason Bay      -  963 Innings - .282/.358/.550
Rob Mackowiak  -  153 Innings - .246/.319/.420
Craig Wilson   -  136 Innings - .264/.354/.499
Raul Mondesi   -  117 Innings - .241/.313/.376
On Mar. 8 last year's Rookie of the Year Jason Bay bruised a bone in his wrist diving for a ball. He'll still be the opening day leftfielder, though he may take a bit longer than would otherwise be expected to hit mid-season form.

Mackowiak and Wilson will once again act as backups to Bay, as will Ben Grieve if he makes the team. I wish they'd just let Wilson be a full-time first baseman, but that's not the Pirate way.

ZiPS does not expect Jason to experience a softmore slump with respect to his numbers, but I'm not as confident.

Jason Bay

ZiPS projection: .286/.375/.524 - 433 AB
80's comparable: Jesse Barfield (1986)
That's right. Bay's 80's comp Jesse Barfield. Without the cannon arm, obviously.

Bay has played one full season in the majors, Barfield had played 4 before the 1986 season. In 1986 Barfield would have a monster year, hitting .289 with 40 homers. To learn more about Barfield, you'll have to read Magpie's 24,000 word essay on the man, which should be released any day now.

Ben Grieve

ZiPS projection: .256/.363/.423 - 324 AB
80's comparable: Mike Young (1989)
Young spent the 1989 season with the Cleveland Indians after being released by the Brewers. For the Indians he hit .189 in 32 games. That was Young's last year in the majors, this may be Grieve's.


Last Season
Tike Redman    - 1207 Innings - .280/.310/.374
Rob Mackowiak  -  123 Innings - .246/.319/.420
Nothing has changed this season, with the non-pitching Redman to get the bulk of the playing time in CF with Mackowiak as backup.

Tike Redman

ZiPS projection: .287/.332/.386 - 557 AB
80's comparable: Milt Thompson (1987)
During the late 80's and early 90's, Thompson had some pretty good years with the Phillies and Cardinals. In 1987 he played in 150 games for the Phillies and batted .288, stole 46 bases, and hit 2 homeruns. If anyone wants a Milt Thompson baseball card, let me know. I must have thousands of the things.


Last Season
Craig Wilson   -  627 Innings - .264/.354/.499
Rob Mackowiak  -  438 Innings - .246/.319/.420
Raul Mondesi   -  105 Innings - .241/.313/.376
Daryle Ward    -   78 Innings - .249/.305/.474
Jose Bautista  -   61 Innings - .205/.263/.239
J.J. Davis     -   61 Innings - .143/.225/.171
Rightfield was a revolving door for the Pirates last year, with Wilson getting most of the starts when he was not slated to start at first base. The additional of Matt Lawton solidifies this position greatly, and strengthens the bench as two of Wilson, Mackowiak, and Ward should start the game there.

Matt Lawton

ZiPS projection: .270/.364/.414 - 512 AB
80's comparable: Brian Downing (1984)
I remember Downing's final few seasons as a slow-footed DH with the Angels and the Rangers. In 1984, though, Downing was still playing the outfield. In 156 games for the Angels in 1984 Downing put up a .275/.360/.462 line and hit 23 homeruns. I think the Pirates would be thrirlled if Lawton could do the same.

Starting Rotation

Last Season
Josh Fogg      - 32 GS, 11-10, 178.3 IP, 4.64 ERA
Oliver Perez   - 30 GS, 12-10, 196.0 IP, 2.98 ERA
Ryan Vogelsong - 26 GS,  6-13, 133.0 IP, 6.50 ERA
Kip Wells      - 24 GS,  5- 7, 138.3 IP, 4.55 ERA
Kris Benson    - 20 GS,  8- 8, 132.3 IP, 4.22 ERA
Sean Burnett   - 13 GS,  5- 5,  71.7 IP, 5.02 ERA
Perez, Wells, and Fogg will all be back in the Pirate rotation for 2005. Benson has been replaced by Mark Redman, and the fifth starter position will likely be filled by Dave Williams, who was primarily used as a reliever on last year's club. Another possibility for the #5 slot is Ryan Vogelsong, though he may get passed over due to his ugly ERA last season. There is an outside chance that former Pirate Todd Ritchie (take that Kenny Williams!) and prospect Zach Duke could start a handful of games for the team. Unfortunately for the Bucs John Van Benschoten and Sean Burnett will likely miss the entire 2005 season due to arm injuries.

Oliver Perez

ZiPS projection: 9-8, 24 GS, 171 IP, 3.84 ERA
80's comparable: Frank Tanana (1977) 
There aren't any decent comps for Perez, let alone ones from the 1980s, which goes to show wha a valuable and unique pitcher he truly is.

Tanana lost his near 100 MPH fastball sometime in 1978, so 1977 would be his last great year. He struck out 205 batters in 241.3 innings while going 15-9 with an ERA of 2.54. His 1977 California Angels would go 74-88 with a starting rotation made up of himself, Nolan Ryan, and a septic-tank pumping truck. Other than Bobby Bonds, that Angels team didn't hit much either, including their 21-year old rookie starting shortstop: Rance Mulliniks.

Kip Wells

ZiPS projection: 9-10, 29 GS, 174 IP, 4.60 ERA
80's comparable: Ron Darling (1988) 
In 1988 Ron Darling was the #2 pitcher behind a strike-out machine named Dwight Gooden (you may have heard of him), so the comparison between Wells and Darling is pretty apt. In 1988 Darling went 18-9 with an ERA of 3.19. That Mets team led the league with 703 runs scored (imagine that!), and their pitching staff had a collective ERA of 2.91. Those Mets won 100 games. These Pirates won't.

Mark Redman

ZiPS projection: 11-12, 31 GS, 192 IP, 4.31 ERA
80's comparable: Dennis Rasmussen (1990) 
Okay, 1990 is not technically in the 1980's, but I have a thing for Rasmussens, so I let it slide. Dennis Rasmussen had some very good years in his career, but 1990 would not be one of them. He had an ERA of 4.51 for an ERA+ of 85! in 187.7 innings pitched. His record in 1990 was 11-15 despite the offensive production of a couple guys named Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar. Well, Carter's .290 on-base percentage didn't help much.

Josh Fogg

ZiPS projection: 8-13, 31 GS, 170 IP, 4.98 ERA
80's comparable: Al Nipper (1987) 
Nipper was so distraught because the Sox lost the 1986 series that he put up a 84 ERA+ (5.43 ERA) in 174.0 innings in 1987. Or maybe not, since his ERA+ was 78 in 1986. At the end of the 1987 season he'd be dealt to the Cubs with Calvin Schiraldi for Lee Smith. Smith had a number of great years left in him. Nipper didn't - he'd pitch 80 innings for the 1988 Cubs and 24 innings for the 1990 Indians, before leaving major league baseball just a few months after his 31st birthday.

Dave Williams

ZiPS projection: 5-6, 22 GS, 119 IP, 4.69 ERA
80's comparable: Bob Ojeda (1984) 
I remember Ojeda mainly as a Met, but he was with the Red Sox from 1980 to 1985. In 1984 he had a pretty good year, going 12-12 with an ERA of 3.99 ERA (104 ERA+) in 216.7 innings. In the 1986 he started and won Game 3 against the Red Sox. The other game he started was the famous Game 6 with "that Bill Buckner incident". I'm sure you remember that one. In those two starts he put up a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings. That's what you get for trading me, jerks!

Ryan Vogelsong

ZiPS projection: 7-11, 27 GS, 140 IP, 5.14 ERA
80's comparable: Brian Kingman (1982) 
Yes, that's Mr. "I lost 20 games in 1980" Brian Kingman. He wasn't much better in 1982 sporting a record of 4-12 in 23 appearances (20 starts) with the A's. After his 4.48 ERA (88 ERA+) that season he was sold to the Red Sox on January 17, 1983. Before he even threw a regular season pitch with the team they released him on March 25. He wound up pitching less than 5 innings that season, all for the Giants, then left major league baseball at the age of 28.

Todd Ritchie

ZiPS projection: 5-10, 20 GS, 112 IP, 5.30 ERA
80's comparable: Craig Swan (1984) 
In 1978 Crag Swan won the National League ERA title with a 2.43 ERA for the Mets. In 1984 Swan pitched 23.7 innings between the Mets and Angels, sporting an ERA of 8.50. Not surprisingly, that was his last year in the big leagues. If Todd Ritchie doesn't not perform when he's given the opportunity, this may be his final season.


Last Season
Jose Mesa      - 70 G, 5-2, 43 SV, 69.3 IP, 3.25 ERA
Salmon Torres  - 84 G, 7-7,  0 SV, 92.0 IP, 2.64 ERA
John Grabow    - 68 G, 2-5,  1 SV, 61.7 IP, 5.11 ERA
Brian Meadows  - 47 G, 2-4,  1 SV, 78.0 IP, 3.58 ERA
Mike Gonzalez  - 47 G, 3-1,  1 SV, 43.3 IP, 1.25 ERA
Dave Williams  - 10 G, 2-3,  0 SV, 38.7 IP, 4.42 ERA
Mark Corey     - 31 G, 1-2,  0 SV, 35.7 IP, 4.54 ERA
Mike Johnston  - 24 G, 0-3,  0 SV, 22.7 IP, 4.37 ERA
The Pirates had an unbelievably productive bullpen last year, with Mike Gonzalez sporting an ERA of 1.25 (that's not a typo) and Jose Mesa collecting 43 saves. The 8 players above are all back with the Pirates this year, though Williams will likely be in the rotation, not the pen. The Pirates should again have an above-average bullpen, though it's unlikely this set of players will perform as well as they did last year.

Jose Mesa

ZiPS projection: 4-5, 69 G, 68 IP, 4.63 ERA
80's comparable: Bill Campbell (1987) 
In 1986 Bill Campbell had a pretty good year with the Tigers, pitching 55.7 innings over 34 games with an ERA of 3.88 (ERA+ 107), though his record was 3-6. Prior to the start of the 1987 season he'd sign as a free agent with the Montreal Expos. There he pitched in all of 10 innings and had an ERA of 8. That's not likely to happen to Mesa. Particularly the bit about the Montreal Expos.

Salmon Torres

ZiPS projection: 7-7, 50 G, 141 IP, 4.40 ERA
80's comparable: Larry Andersen (1986) 
In 1986 Andersen started the year with the Phillies. He didn't pitch particularly well in 12.7 innings there, though his ERA was only 4.26. For whatever reason the Phillies decided to release him on May 13. A couple days later he was picked up by the Astros and was terrific there, putting up an ERA of 2.78 in 64.7 innings. I guess youneverknow.

There is no basis to the rumour that the Pirates are hanging on to Torres in order to trade him to the Red Sox for a future Hall of Famer.

Mike Gonzalez

ZiPS projection: 3-1, 58 G, 67 IP, 3.36 ERA
80's comparable: Bill Caudill (1983) 
There's a name most of us will never forget. In 1983, though, Caudill was a Mariner, not a Blue Jay. He had an excellent year, throwing 95.7 innings in 70 games with a stellar ERA of 2.35 and 26 saves to his credit. He also managed to have a winning record (12-9) with a 1980's Mariner team, which is no small feat. Well, maybe it is; the 1982 Mariners weren't all that bad sporting a record of 76-86. Looking through their stats, I have no idea how they managed to pull that off.

Mark Corey

ZiPS projection: 3-4, 63 G, 69 IP, 4.57 ERA
80's comparable: Steve Farr (1987) 
Before looking through his stats, I had forgotten what a great pitcher Steve Farr was. I guess I've always assumed if you played for the early 90's Yankees and your name didn't rhyme with Battingly, you probably weren't very good.

1987 was a below average season for Steve Farr, though he still managed an ERA+ of 110 in 91 innings. That was no match for his 1992 season with the Yankees, where Farr's ERA was a microscopic 1.56 (251 ERA+) and he notched 30 saves in 52 innings.

Brian Meadows

ZiPS projection: 2-3, 54 G, 75 IP, 4.80 ERA
80's comparable: Steve Crawford (1987) 
Steve Crawford is another guy I had completely forgotten about, despite the fact he was credited with winning Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS and Game 2 of the '86 World Series for the Red Sox. Mainly a back-of-the-bullpen guy, the tall righty had an ERA of 3.92 in 57.3 innings for the Sox.

John Grabow

ZiPS projection: 4-5, 56 G, 90 IP, 4.20 ERA
80's comparable: Ricky Horton (1986) 
Horton had 4 great years with the Cardinals between 1984-1987. Before the start of the 1988 season he was sent to the White Sox with Lance Johnson in exchange for Jose DeLeon. Horton would never have a decent season again.

1986 was easily the best year of Horton's career, as he sported a 2.24 ERA (163 ERA+) in 100.3 innings for St. Louis. He and Pat Perry was used as set-up men behind closer Todd Worrell, who also had an excelent 1986 season. In his career Horton would pitch 17.3 post-season innings while never recording a decision or a save. Such is the life of the middle reliever.

Mike Johnston

ZiPS projection: 2-4, 45 G, 55 IP, 5.40 ERA
80's comparable: Mike Madden (1984) 
Who? Madden spent four years in the majors between 1983-1986 with the Astros. 1984 was by far the worst of these years, with an ERA+ of 60 in 40.7 innings pitched. Madden pitched in 13 games for the 1986 Astros as a swingman. The Astros went on to play the Mets, though Madden didn't see any action and may have been left off the post-season roster. He signed with the Expos at the end of 1986 as a free agent, though would not pitch an inning with them or any other major league club.


We've learned a few things from all this. First of all, it's become obvious that I don't like the Yankees. Plus we recalled a number of fun things from the 1986 World Series which is always enjoyable to look back on?

What about the Pirates, though? They're clearly a lot worse at the position of catcher, but the rest of the offense is much stronger and the third base and left-field positions are now solified.

Overall this team looks about as good as they were last season, with the changes in the catching position and the expected declines we'll see from career years in 2004 being off-set by the added depth the team should have in 2005. Last season the team won 72 games. I expect them to win around 70 this season.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are your Pittsburgh Pirates!

The 2005 Pittsburgh Pirates

Batting Order
1. RF - Brian Downing  (1984)
2. SS - Rafael Ramirez (1985)
3. LF - Jesse Barfield (1986)
4. 1B - Nick Esasky    (1988)
5. 3B - Brook Jacoby   (1987)
6. CF - Milt Thompson  (1987)
7. 2B - Billy Ripken   (1989)
8. C  - Carlton Fisk   (1988)

 C - Tom Nieto         (1987)
1B - Larry Sheets      (1989)
SS - Jerry Dybzinski   (1983)
UT - Randy Bush        (1987)
OF - Mike Young        (1989)
2B - Bob Meacham       (1988)

1. Frank Tanana        (1977)
2. Ron Darling         (1988)
3. Dennis Rasmussen    (1990)
4. Al Nipper           (1987)
5. Bob Ojeda           (1984)

1. Bill Campbell       (1987)
2. Larry Andersen      (1986)
3. Bill Caudill        (1983)
4. Steve Farr          (1987)
5. Steve Crawford      (1987)
6. Ricky Horton        (1986)
7. Mike Madden         (1984)
A Look Back at the 2005 Pittsburgh Pirates | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 15 2005 @ 10:40 AM EST (#106147) #
Brilliant, Pepper.

The Pirates farm system is filled with pitching prospects, Zach Duke, John Van Benschoten, Bryan Bullington, Paul Maholm, and my favourite Ian Snell. I still don't see how they're going to score runs in 2006/07. Better hope that the first-rounders (VB, Bullington, Maholm) come on this year, and convert one through trade to a hitting prospect.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 15 2005 @ 11:53 AM EST (#106163) #
Nicely done, Pepper.

The Pirates released J.R. House? That's news to me, he used to be a pretty good prospect just a couple of years aog. Also, I recall he did okay in AAA last year; it seems strange they'd just cut him.

Does anyone know why they did or why he doesn't seem to have caught on somewhere else yet?
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, March 15 2005 @ 11:55 AM EST (#106164) #
Thanks for your kind words, guys.

RE: J.R. House. See:

"The punches keep coming for the former Pirates’ top-prospect J.R. House, 25, as he was released by the team on Tuesday. This comes only weeks after House underwent surgery for a torn labium and is expected to miss all of the 2005 season."
A Look Back at the 2005 Pittsburgh Pirates | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.