2009 Defense

I stumbled upon Chone Smith’s 2009 defensive projections today, so I thought I would take a look at how the Pirates stacked up. Here are the players I tentatively expect to make up the starting lineup, along with each one’s projections. COF stands for “corner outfield,” as there are no separate projections for left and right field.

1B 2B 3B SS COF CF
1B Adam LaRoche 1
2B Freddy Sanchez -7
3B Andy LaRoche 3 -1 4
SS Jack Wilson 7
LF Brandon Moss 2 0 -10
CF Nate McLouth 1 -9
RF Steve Pearce -8 -21

Here are the rest of the players currently on the 40-man roster.

1B 2B 3B SS COF CF
Brian Bixler -7
Luis Cruz 1 -4
Chris Gomez -3 -10 -8 -13
Jason Michaels 5 -3
Doug Mientkiewicz 7 -6 -3 -13
Nyjer Morgan 4 -5
Luis Rivas -7 -12

As you can see, the starting infield projects to be solid at a combined five runs above average. Sanchez is the weak link there. The outfield could very well be atrocious. They are projected at -17 runs, and I don’t believe this accounts for the fact that Moss will be patrolling the substantial left field at PNC Park. The future outfield defense should be greatly improved, assuming we see McLouth, McCutchen and Tabata out there down the road.

On one other note, the defense coming off the bench is pretty bad. In particular, Rivas and Gomez are pretty useless at any position. They don’t provide much in the way of offense either. I sure hope that neither is still with the team next year.

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