Based on the comments from Neal Huntington during his conversation with Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette, you would think that the Pittsburgh Pirates were a playoff contender prior to having a historic collapse post all star break. The stats he provides may even make you believe him. But the Pirates were never contenders and won’t be any time soon.
Huntington continues to point to a team that was 2.5 games out of a playoff spot at the all star break. But he won’t tell you that team had a losing record and a run differential of -36, one of the worst in baseball. He won’t tell you there were five players batting over .300 (down to 2 two as of Sunday), most of which had a small sample size in the majors to that point. And he definitely won’t tell you about a pitching staff comprised of bottom of the rotation guys that completely outperformed what is expected of them. But that’s the great thing about baseball. It’s 162 games. Things are always going to balance back to where you’re supposed to be.
During the interview, he continued to site the 2012 team. A group of young guys with potential and a bright future. Where is the Andrew McCutchen on this team? A player that finished 3rd in the MVP voting that year. Is it Josh Bell? He has been fantastic but many forget the amazing things Cutch did in those years. Where is the A.J. Burnett that will go out and get you 16 wins?It’s supposed to be Jamesom Taillon but you aren’t going to see him for a long time. Where are the youngsters like Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco that looked like can’t miss talents?
This team is not a contender. Huntington has done the best he can with the resources he is given. He can’t go buy a player at the deadline or during the offseason when the players he drafted aren’t good enough. But the facts show that he has not drafted the right players or been able to develop talent over his time as the General Manager. He continues to try to fool the fan base with the way he tries to provide hope while kicking the can down the road. This is a .500 or worse team and will continue to be until changes are made.