Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Fantasy outlooks: Pittsburgh Pirates

  •  

For a time it appeared that maybe, just maybe, the Pirates' long streak of futility would end in 2011.

They were atop the NL Central as late as July 25 with a record that was six games above .500. It was too good to be true, though, as the Pirates finished 72-90, completing their 19th straight season with a losing record.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Still, it was the first time since 2004 that Pittsburgh notched more than 70 wins, and there were a few favorable developments. Andrew McCutchen added 20-homer power to his arsenal and cemented his status as a top 10 Fantasy outfielder. Joel Hanrahan also emerged as a top closer, and the starting rotation featured three pitchers with sub-4.00 ERAs.

There were still more disappointments than highlights, as Jose Tabata missed time with injuries, Pedro Alvarez had the mother of all sophomore slumps, and the team went through catchers like Spinal Tap drummers. Tabata and Alvarez will return in 2012, offering the promise of improvement, and should they falter, offseason acquisitions Nate McLouth and Casey McGehee will be around to plug the holes they would leave in the lineup. The Pirates also signed free agents Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas to solidify the shortstop and catcher positions, respectively.

The pitching staff will look largely the same, though one free-agent lefty -- Erik Bedard -- will take the place of another -- Paul Maholm. Two of the three starters with sub-4.00 ERAs, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton, will head up the rotation (Maholm was the third), and Hanrahan will once again be the team's closer.

While the Pirates should enter 2012 a little stronger and deeper than were a year ago, their fans may have to wait yet another year for a winning record. The good news is that help is on the way, as the farm system offers potential reinforcements for the rotation (Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Gerrit Cole, Rudy Owens) and the outfield (Starling Marte, Robert Grossman) for the not-too-distant future. It's a slow climb, but the Pirates finally appear headed in the right direction.

Breakout ... Jose Tabata, OF

Though Tabata is a breakout candidate, he's one with an asterisk, as he had problems staying healthy last season. That said, he has the potential to steal 30 bases if he plays a full season. Also, Tabata virtually never pops out, so seasons like his last one, in which he batted just .266, should be the exception. While he may never be a 20-homer threat, Tabata's minor league history suggests that there is a little more thump in his bat than what he has shown in his first two seasons. While Tabata is something of an injury risk, he is expected to be ready for opening day, and he should produce like a No. 4 OF in mixed leagues.

One-hit wonder ... Jeff Karstens, SP

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Baseball.

Karstens led the Pirates' starters with a 3.38 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 2011, making him the team's de facto ace. He also posted 16 quality starts in 26 tries, including a streak of nine in a row, which endeared him to owners in Head-to-Head leagues. To be sure, Karstens was a better pitcher last year than he had been in the past, and specifically, he raised his ground ball rate, which led to fewer long balls. However, Karstens still gives up a lot of dingers, so it's unlikely that he can manage to strand 78 percent of his baserunners again this year. While owners may be able to count on Karstens for a low WHIP, look for his ERA to sail north of 4.00, making him a far less attractive option for mixed leagues.

Injury risk sleeper ... Erik Bedard, SP

Bedard, who is a perennial injury risk, missed time again in 2011 due to injuries, but his surgically-repaired left shoulder held up fine. Knee and lat injuries limited the 32-year-old to 24 starts, but he was largely effective in his turns in the rotation. Bedard can still rack up a strikeout per inning, and he will get the benefit of home games at pitcher-friendly PNC Park. Because of his injury history, Bedard can be passed over until the later rounds of mixed league drafts, but if he pitches even as much as he did last year, he could pay a nice dividend to his owners.

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Jose Tabata RF 1 Jeff Karstens RH
2 Alex Presley LF 2 Charlie Morton RH
3 Andrew McCutchen CF 3 Erik Bedard LH
4 Neil Walker 2B 4 James McDonald RH
5 Garrett Jones 1B 5 Kevin Correia RH
6 Pedro Alvarez 3B Alt Brad Lincoln RH
7 Clint Barmes SS
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Rod Barajas C CL Joel Hanrahan RH
Top bench options SU Evan Meek RH
R Casey McGehee 3B RP Jason Grilli RH
R Nate McLouth OF RP Chris Resop RH
R Michael McKenry C RP Daniel Moskos LH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Gerrit Cole 21 SP DNP Class A
For the most part, Cole looked sharp in the Arizona Fall League, which marked his pro debut. Could be a late-season callup, and surely a top keeper league target.
2 Jameson Taillon 20 SP Class A Class A
The organization is being conservative with his innings and promotions, so Taillon is not on the fast track. Still deserves to be drafted in long-term keeper leagues.
3 Josh Bell 19 OF DNP Class A
Bell is a switch hitter with great power potential. He is still a ways off from the majors and will make his pro debut this spring.
4 Jeff Locke 24 SP Majors Triple-A
The southpaw has strong command, though it didn't show in his brief big league debut last fall. Likely to start in the minors, Locke could settle into the Bucs' rotation sometime this year.
5 Starling Marte 23 OF Double-A Triple-A
The speedster is starting to develop some power, but could stand to be more patient. Marte is likely to debut sometime in 2012, but fellow prospect Robert Grossman just might leapfrog over him.
Best of the rest: Robert Grossman, OF; Luis Heredia, SP; Kyle McPherson, SP; Tony Sanchez, C; Stetson Allie, SP; Nick Kingham, SP; Alex Dickerson, 1B; Bryan Morris, RP; Zack Von Rosenberg, SP; Zach Dodson, SP; Rudy Owens, SP; Justin Wilson, SP; Clay Holmes, SP; Jose Osuna, OF; Jordy Mercer, SS; Gorkys Hernandez, OF; Duke Welker, RP.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Nationals CF Denard Span out of Thursday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:56 pm ET) Nationals leadoff hitter and center fielder Denard Span is set to sit Thursday against visiting San Diego.

Span played in just two games after returning from a seven-week absence due to a back injury. Matt Williams might be avoiding overworking him so soon after his comeback.


Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig leaves game with likely hamstring injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:45 pm ET) An apparent hamstring injury sustained beating out an infield single in the ninth inning forced the removal of Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig from the game Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati.

Puig, who dealt with a hamstring injury earlier in the year, had two singles to extend his hitting streak to 10 before going down.

The team has yet to confirm any details in the injury, including its seriousness and possible amount of time Puig could be sidelined.

His loss for an extended period could prove devastating, especially considering starting second baseman Howie Kendrick remains out and slugger Adrian Gonzalez also left the game Thursday with an injury.


More knee issues land Rays OF Desmond Jennings on DL again
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:33 pm ET) The Rays have placed outfielder Desmond Jennings on the disabled list with a bruised left knee and recalled Joey Butler from Triple-A Durham, per the Tampa Tribune.

Jennings, who has had just two at-bats since Saturday, has been sidelined nearly all year with a knee injury. His return two weeks ago marked his first action since late April.

He had raised his average to .268 before going down. That was its highest point since April 10.


Ailments could keep Cubs OF Dexter Fowler out through Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:27 pm ET) A series of foul tips off various parts of his body has Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler sidelined Thursday against San Francisco and possibly beyond. He has been hit on the right hand, left elbow and right shin, per mlb.com.

Fowler might remain out Friday against the Dodgers.

"I'm not 100 percent sure yet [if he'll play Friday]," Joe Maddon said. "He's still pretty sore. There's a shot at it, yes."

Fowler was on an 0-for-9 slide before going down.


Michael Lorenzen could replace David Holmberg in Reds rotation
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:17 pm ET) The struggles of Reds starter David Holmberg are likely to benefit Michael Lorenzen, who could assume his place in the rotation as early as Monday against the Cubs, according to MLB.com.

Lorenzen has been tearing it up at Triple-A Louisville. He is 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 innings over his last three starts. His last effort was a one-hitter over eight innings.

Holmberg has been going in the opposite direction with a 15.19 ERA over his past three outings. He was pounded for six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings by the Dodgers in his last performance.

The only problem for Lorenzen is an innings limit that Bryan Price placed at 150-155 innings. He has thrown 133 2/3 combined with Cincinnati and Louisville this season.


Orioles OF Nolan Reimold set to join Triple-A Norfolk
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:56 pm ET) Veteran Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold has accepted an assignment he could have refused, the Baltimore Sun has reported. He is headed to Triple-A Norfolk.

The 31-year-old Reimold, who cleared waivers, heads down with a slash line of .227/.306/.340.


OF Aaron Judge, RP Jacob Lindgren won't help Yankees in 2015
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:50 pm ET) Two young players remain unlikely candidates to take the field for the Yankees by the end of the season.

One is top outfield prospect Aaron Judge, whom general manager Brian Cashman has ruled out for a possible promotion, per LoHud.com. The other is southpaw reliever Jacob Lindgren, who has yet to begin throwing bullpen sessions in his rehab from a left elbow injury that required surgery.

Judge is on a 0-for-14 slide at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. He owns a decent .262/.337/.469 slash line on the year.


Marlins demote RP Scott McGough; activate RP Andre Rienzo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) One week after promoting Scott McGough to Triple-A New Orleans, the Marlins have sent him back down to the same team, per the Miami Herald.

The move was necissatated by the reinstatement of fellow right-handed reliever Andre Rienzo from the disabled list.

McGough pitched scoreless ball in two of his three appearances, but allowed three runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning in the other.

Rienzo had been down for just over three weeks with a left knee laceration.


Giants SS Brandon Crawford, OF Gregor Blanco out Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) The banged-up Giants still have two starting position players missing from their lineup for the Thursday game against the visiting Cubs.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford (side) and outfielder Gregor Blanco (left hip strain) remain sidelined.

The absences are the second straight both both players.


Giants 3B Matt Duffy remains in lineup Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:26 pm ET) Giants third baseman Matt Duffy has lost no time to a right ankle sprain that plagued him during the game Wednesday. He is in the lineup Thursday against the Cubs.

The team can ill-afford to lose Duffy, who has been among their most productive hitters. He just had an eight-game hitting streak snapped in which he batted .333 (11-for-33).


 
 
 
Rankings