MLB Team News NL Central — 04 April 2010

2009 regular season record: 62-99, Sixth place, NL Central

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Ryan Church (ATL), Bobby Crosby (OAK), Javier Lopez (BOS), Akinori Iwamura (TB)

Major Offseason Losses: Matt Capps (WAS)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats):

  1. 2B-Akinori Iwamura (.290 BA, .355 OBP, 1 HR, 22 RBI)
  2. CF-Andrew McCutchen (.286 BA, .365 OBP, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 22 SB)
  3. RF-Garrett Jones (.293 BA, .372 OBP, 21 HR, 44 RBI)
  4. C-Ryan Doumit (.250 BA, .299 OBP, 10 HR, 38 RBI)
  5. LF-Lastings Milledge (.279 BA, .323 OBP, 4 HR, 21 RBI)
  6. 1B-Jeff Clement (AAA stats: .274 BA, .354 OBP, 21 HR, 90 RBI)
  7. 3B-Andy LaRoche (.258 BA, .330 OBP, 12 HR, 64 RBI)
  8. SS-Ronny Cedeno (.208 BA, .256 OBP, 10 HR, 38 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

  1. LHP Zach Duke (11-15, 4.06 ERA, 213.0 IP)
  2. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (11-10, 3.92 ERA, 176.2 IP)
  3. LHP Paul Maholm (8-9. 4.44 ERA, 194.2 IP)
  4. RHP Charlie Morton (5-9, 4.55 ERA, 97.0 IP)
  5. RHP Daniel McCutchen (1-2, 4.21 ERA, 36.1 IP)

Closer: Octavio Dotel (3.32 ERA, 0 saves)

2010 outlook: The Pirates certainly have some exciting pieces, but will it be enough to keep them from an 18th-consecutive losing season?

With the way the NL Central is stacking up, it doesn’t look too promising.

However, that doesn’t mean Pirates fans shouldn’t be excited about players like Andrew McCutchen.

McCutchen played in over 100 games last season and fared pretty well.

The club is hoping he can be a spark plug at the top of the lineup, and they believe he’s capable of hitting 30 home runs and stealing well over 30 bases someday.

Garrett Jones is another player with high expectations.

The 28-year-old  came out of nowhere in 2009 to hit .293 with 21 home runs in just 82 games.

He’ll start this season as the Pirates’ right fielder, and may be the only guy to hit 20 home runs again.

The rotation is spotty, but guys like Zach Duke, Russ Ohlendorf, and Paul Maholm were able to hold their own fairly well in 2009.

While they may be destined for yet another last-place finish, the Pirates are finally looking like they may have some solid pieces for the future on the way.

2010 prediction: 65-97, Sixth place, NL Central

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Taylor Smith

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