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As the Pirates Lurch Forward Towards Opening Day, The Debate Over The Everyday Lineup Continues

pirates+logoJason Rollison  (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – pbcbreakdown.com) 

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With John Jaso now seemingly entrenched at the top of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup, coupled with Andrew McCutchen pointed towards remaining in the number two slot, many observers now wonder what the rest of the batting order may look like against the Cardinals on April 3rd.

Despite the focus on the top of the order, it may be the bottom of the order that can take a step forward for the club.

In 2015, the seventh and eighth hitters for the Pirates performed reasonably well.

There are a couple of interesting notes when considering the Pirates’ performance form the bottom two spots in the order.

First, the 114 rating for wRC+ (weighted runs created +) led the NL from the seventh spot (100 is considered an “average” score). This will likely continue for 2016, as we will see shortly.

From the eighth spot, the wRC+ rating of 93 might seem underwhelming, yet only two teams in the NL had a rating of 100 or more. The St. Louis Cardinals were far and away the most productive in this regard, with a 110 rating.

2016 will likely be another story completely, as the changes at the top have ramifications that will be felt all the way through the order. While Pedro Alvarez‘s free swinging ways often led to his insertion in the lower third, his departure and a re-focusing on quality at bats results in a case of addition by subtraction.

If spring batting orders over the past week are any indication, Jordy Mercer, Gregory Polanco or Josh Harrison could be reliable bats at the 7th spot.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Mar.1, 2013 – Mar.31, 2013 (Episodes 129 – 159)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1216 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 129 – 159 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

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To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

St. Louis Cardinals State Of The Union For 2016

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the milennium - with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. St. Louis could always sign 1 - 2 Starters via Free Agency as well. As it stands right now, the club has a payroll of around $133 MIL In 2016 listed. They can afford to add about $15 - $17 more million without batting an eye.

St. louis continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium – with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. St. Louis could always sign 1 – 2 Starters via Free Agency as well. As it stands right now, the club has a payroll of around $133 MIL listed in 2016. They can afford to add about $15 – $17 more million without batting an eye.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Cardinals continue to be the model franchise in the Major Leagues.  With 9 NLCS births since 2000, this club has thrived with rolling over the roster, and not making mistakes on the Free Agency watch.

2016 shouldn’t be any different for competing for a playoff spot. St. Louis won 100 games in 2015 – and may top the century mark in 2016 again.  Crazily enough though it might not be enough for a Division win.

I think I can safely say the Cards and the Cubs are the two best all around teams in the big leagues right now.

I am still giving the nod to Chicago as the favorite right now, but that may change with some winter alterations.

Word has come down that Matt Holliday has been taking reps at 1B this offseasons.  If he were able to convert that to his positional arsenal for the next few years, than that would free up Matt Adams to be traded.

Among the moves the club has made over he last week was trade Jon Jay to the Padres for 2B Jedd Gyorko.  This is a classic Cardinals move. Read the rest of this entry

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