The Pirates announced the starting rotation and lineup for opening day this past week.
The starting rotation looks like this:
- Kevin Correia
- Paul Maholm
- Ross Ohlendorf
- Charlie Morton
- James McDonald
I don’t know too many people who are willing to say that this rotation is close to average but there is some potential.
Maholm could finally breakout and have a good season. Ohlendorf had a horrible year record wise last year but wasn’t necessarily horrific. Morton has great stuff, so maybe he can work on his endurance and concentration. McDonald is the x-factor because we don’t know how good he can be.
The lineup for opening day will look like this:
- Jose Tabata
- Neil Walker
- Andrew McCutchen
- Lyle Overbay
- Pedro Alvarez
- Garrett Jones/Matt Diaz
- Chris Snyder is now on DL so Ryan Doumit gets the nod (again)
- Ronny Cedeno
There were only a few questions about what the lineup would look like. People wondered who would leadoff, hit third and fourth.
Some people want McCutchen batting first, Walker batting third and Alvarez batting fourth. At first glance, I love McCutchen batting third, for now. We all think he can hit 20 + homers and be the best contact hitter on the club. Plus, we are all waiting for him to have a breakout All-Star year hitting the ball. This opportunity will allow for more RBIs.
Tabata isn’t as quick as McCutchen so he might not steal as many bases. He does have the ability to get things done on the base paths. He does take long strides, uses a good leadoff and can read the pitcher pretty well.
Alvarez may be a more conventional four hitter in the upcoming future, but batting him fifth might help him settle in. He might not feel the pressure of batting fourth and having to provide big time RBI numbers. If he felt that pressure, we could see him lead the league in strikeouts. In fact, we still may see him lead the league in strikeouts.
The lineup will change if the buccos aren’t producing. If McCutchen isn’t driving in runs, expect Walker to move to third.
Opening day for the Pirates is on Friday in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 pm.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.