Pittsburgh Pirates to see better production from bottom
As the Pittsburgh Pirates lurch forward towards Opening Day, the debate over the everyday batting order continues.
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.