Pittsburgh – Derek Shelton believes the Pittsburgh Pirates have already won the clubhouse.
“I’m really proud of the culture we have created here,” Shelton said in his sophomore year as manager after Pittsburgh finished fifth at NL Central, like its first year. Rice field. “We are moving in the right direction.”
At least below the surface.
The minor league system has been replenished thanks to a draft from players like first General Pick Henry Davis and a series of deals that General Manager Ben Chellington established players for prospects but the major leagues. Products remain in a very fluid state.
Pirates deployed 64 players in 2021 and broke the record of 55 clubs in 2016. That number included a record of 38 pitchers, with few pitchers being particularly effective for the team that ranked in the National League’s second worst ERA (5, 08) ended. The third worst in the majors.
Some building blocks, all-star midfielder Bryan Reynolds and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, have already been placed, but the rest of the roster felt like the airport’s Uberline. Will.
Trevor Cahill (1- It was 5, 6.57).
The same was true of outfield players. John Nogowski achieved fleeting cult status after arriving in early July. At the end of September he played in San Francisco. Todd Frazier signed on in February to provide seasoned leadership to young clubs. He was gone in mid-May. Adam Frazier started on second base in the All-Star game. A few weeks later he was sold to San Diego while leading the major with one hit. Long-time outfielder Gregory Polanco fell and was booed at PNC Park. He was released in August.
Pirates emphasizes identity formation and at the same time points to the future. Perhaps, however, their voluntary purgatory and reaching the last three places in a row left the fan base without sticking to the present.
When the capacity limit of COVID-19 was lifted on July 1, Pirates drew 14 fans under 10,000, more than the total for the past five years. Her record of worst franchise 61-101 since 2010 was useless.
As the 23-year-old made his first major league home run, there was a moment of electricity as 6-foot-7 shortstop contender Oneil Cruz delivered the final shock at the season finale. Cruz knows that when their windows reopen to pirate battles, or more importantly, they will be among the works he counts.
“I hope players like me bring hope to this community, city and organization,” he said. “But in reality I just want to win. I am here and I want to help this organization win. I dream of becoming a champion for just one year, but I want to be a champion. “
The typically reserved Reynolds yelled during spring training when asked repeatedly about the often forgotten 2020 hit .189. Reynolds responded by moving from left fielder to midfielder and then defensive, hitting .302 with the team’s best 24 home runs to put together the best season of his young career.
Reynolds is diplomatic about the ability to sign an agreement to earn the year of arbitration, but banning either Reynolds, Haze, or both for a half-time is being rebuilt, just as Andrew McCutchen signed 6. Anchor is provided. – A contract dated 2012 that put the group on three playoff berths from 2013 to 2015.
The first full haze season in the majors began with a home run. It was one of the few highlights of the year when he missed most of the first two months with a problem on his left wrist that flared up again in September. Meanwhile, he hit .257 on six home runs and played some kind of defense that would help him win three Gold Glove Awards as a minor.
Hayes pointed to a recent conversation with Cynthinaty veteran first baseman Joey Votto as evidence of a better day, but the pain of growing up is difficult.
“He said, ‘You’re going to be really good. You have some work. Mr. Hayes said, “It’ll only take a while under (your) belt. “I think it’ll be really fun in a couple of years,” he added.
Pirates have had an unforgettable streak on the field, but former first baseman Will Craig has now suffered notorious havoc between First and Home, including but in Pittsburgh boss Javier Baez. Defense made great strides in 2021. The pirates made only 70 mistakes. , Least in the majors and least in franchise history.