Historically Great

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an unnamed voice in my head said . . .

*      Andrew McCutchen’s 2013 was not just great. For the Pirate franchise, it was historically great. McCutchen’s 8.2 WAR was the highest by a Pirate position player since Barry Bonds posted a 9.6 WAR in 1992 and a 9.9 WAR in 1990. (Thanks to burghfan66 for alerting me to Bonds’ great WAR numbers. I had initially posted that McCutchen’s 8.2 WAR was the highest by a Pirate position player in 75 years.)

Pirate SS Arky Vaughan produced 8.5 Wins Above Replacement level in 1938. Willie Stargell matched McCutchen’s 8.2 WAR in his 48-home-run 1971 season and Ralph Kiner had an 8.2 WAR in 1947.

Bob Veale had the best single-season WAR by a Pirate pitcher in the history of the franchise. He produced 8.6 Wins Above Replacement level in 1965.

*      I was surprised by the Poll results for the question, “Which left-handed first-baseman do you want to platoon with Gaby Sanchez?” The choices were rookies Andrew Lambo and Chris McGuiness, free agent Kendrys Morales, and the several players who have been rumored to be available for a trade.

And the SABERBUCS readers, by an overwhelming number, are pleased to see Lambo get a shot. He came in at 51.2%. And second place wasn’t close. That went to the Mets Ike Davis at 16.5%

*       Here’s some ammunition to fire at those who will soon be citing Gregory Polanco’s Spring Training numbers to argue that he has earned a spot on the Opening Day 25-man roster.

Polanco is currently hitting .300 with an .850 OPS and one home run in 20 spring at-bats.

In 2007, Andrew McCutchen hit .321/.367/.482 — .849 OPS in 56 Spring Training at-bats. He hit .265/.329/.388 — .717 OPS in 513 regular season at-bats that year – with AA Altoona.

*       Some have complained that the Pirates replaced A.J. Burnett with Edinson Volquez. The Pirates do not need Edinson Volquez to replace the 4.0 WAR that A.J. Burnett gave them last year. They need Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez, Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, Jameson Taillon, and the rest of the 40-man roster – including Edinson Volquez –   to replace Burnett’s 4.0 WAR.

*       I posted a review of Pirate minor league reliever Zachary Thornton recently. But I forgot to include the projections for his 2014 season:

Steamer:  7.9 K/9;  3.0 BB/9;  0.8 HR/9;  3.53 FIP

Oliver:  7.2 K/9;  2.5 BB/9;  0.8 HR/9;  3.59 FIP

ZIPS:  7.4 K/9;  2.5 BB/9;  0.8 HR/9;  3.54 FIP

Any of those lines would add up to a darn good season for an “unknown,” rookie middle-reliever, who was acquired in exchange for Chris Resop.

In 18 innings with the Athletics last year, Resop had a 5.12 FIP. His projections for 2014 are: Steamer 4.35 FIP;  ZIPS 4.70 FIP.

*       And, most importantly, the still unnamed voice in my head said to tell you  . . . “There ain’t no good in an evil-hearted woman.”

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3 thoughts on “Historically Great

  1. I think that voice in your head is overlooking someone. I’m not sure which WAR you are using as both bWAR and fWAR has McCutchen at 8.2 but Barry Bonds as a Pirate clearly has a better season than that in the last 75 years (2 in fact).

    By bWAR Bonds had 9.7 in 1990 and 9.0 in 1992. By fWAR it was 9.9 bWAR and 9.6 fWAR.

    None of this takes anything away from the great season McCutchen had. Using fWAR for convenience only 3 Pirate position players have ever topped that 8.2 number and they are Vaughan, Bonds and the greatest Pirate of all Honus Wagner.It is interesting that Kiner’s and Stargell’s best seasons were both 8.2 fWAR as well meaning they have matched McCutchen.

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