Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
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
Cardinals 3B Matt Carpenter sees hit streak end at 12
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:13 am ET) Matt Carpenter, who had been one of the keys to the Cardinals offense to start the season thanks to his 12-game hitting streak, saw the run come to an end Sunday despite a couple of loud outs. 

Carpenter, who picked up 22 hits over the 12 games, remains fourth in the NL in hitting at .366 with a league-leading 10 doubles. 

"That's why hitting streaks are so hard," Carpenter told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You have days when you hit balls right at people and you have a day when the pitcher is dictating your at-bats and a day when the umpire is dictating your at-bats. To be honest, that's what it felt like."


Rays dispatch Allan Dykstra to Triple-A Durham
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:05 am ET) Two days after he was designated for assignment, first baseman Allan Dykstra has been outrighted to Triple-A Durham by the Rays. He had been demoted to make room for James Loney.

The 27-year-old Dykstra managed just four hits in 31 at-bats during his brief tenure with Tampa Bay this year.


Blue Jays leadoff hitter Jose Reyes dealing with new reality
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:57 am ET) Jose Reyes is a switch-hitter who is not a switch-hitter at this time. A cracked rib and muscle strain in his left side are preventing the Blue Jays leadoff hitter from batting left-handed. So he is batting right-handed against righties.

And it's not working.

Reyes has just two hits in his last 19 at-bats since being forced into that move. His 2-for-13 slump over four previous games makes it even tougher to deal with. His average has plunged from .417 to .250 since April 12.

"I'm hanging in there," he told the National Post. "The more pitches I see, the more comfortable I'm going to feel. But it's a little bit weird."

Switch-hitters have an advantage in watching breaking balls always break toward them, but Reyes has lost that advantage against right-handed pitchers.

"When I hit against a righty from the left side, the slider comes to be, you know," Reyes said. "Now, right on right, the slider goes away from me. That's a different ball game."


Cardinals will look internally to replace P Adam Wainwright
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:56 am ET) With starter Adam Wainwright likely done for the season with an Achilles injury, the Cardinals will initially look at internal candidates to replace the pitcher, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that to fill Wainwright's spot in the rotation Thursday, the team will look to either lefties Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney or righthander Zach Petrick

That would seem to eliminate the Cardinals making a move for a veteran pitcher like the Phillies' Cole Hamels, at least for now. 

"If you get into May and early June and you don't feel like the internal options are the solution you were hoping for, then you might have to look outside," Mozeliak said. 


Tigers prospect Buck Farmer remains on roll in Toledo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:41 am ET) Tigers pitching prospect Buck Farmer could be knocking on the door. A short trip north from Toledo to Detroit might not be far off if his start to this season is any indication.

Farmer raised his record Sunday to 3-0 with a blanking over six innings of Indianapolis. He allowed just two hits, walked four and struck out seven. He also learned to make adjustments in facing a team the second time after failing to do so earlier in the year against Louisville.

And considering he did not give up a run against the Indians, his disappointment at the lack of perfection could be thought of as admirable.

"I was really pleased with the first five innings, then I lost the zone for a little bit in the sixth," he said via milb.com. "I walked a couple people and I have always been a guy that would rather give up a coiple runs than walk someone."

Farmer, who was 12-6 with a 3.07 ERA a year ago, is on a similar pace. He owns a 3.00 in 2015 with 28 strikeouts in 21 innings. Walks have been an issue - he has 10.


Reds SS Zack Cozart looks to awaken bat vs. Brewers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:28 am ET) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is mired in a 2-for-15 slump, but he hopes to get his bat back on track as Cincinnati opens a series with the Brewers beginning Monday. 

Cozart has seven career home runs vs. Milwaukee, the most he's hit against any team. In four games this season against the Brewers, Cozart is hitting .313 with three homers and six RBIs. 


Orioles to have hard time taking Jimmy Paredes out of lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) Buck Showalter has already declared that there should be space on the Orioles roster for Jimmy Paredes when J.J. Hardy returns from the disabled list in about a week.

One would certainly think so based on how Paredes is swinging the bat. Showalter will likely have to find him some significant playing time.

Paredes is batting .352 with five homers, eight doubles and 17 RBI in 24 games since joining the team in 2014. He was 8-for-15 with two doubles, one triple and a tater with seven RBI in the just-completed series against Boston. And at least one teammate is quite impressed.

"It's amazing watching that guy," Steve Pearce told MASNSports. "Hope he keeps it rolling. He could hit in the top of the order or the middle of the lineup. He can do some damage with the bat."


Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria among MLB RBI leaders
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:17 am ET) Nestled among the sluggers on the RBI leaders chart is Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who racked up three more RBIs in Florida's victory over the Nationals on Sunday. Hechavarria is tied for seventh in the category with 16 RBIs, but is the only player in the top 10 who does not have at least five homers. 

Hechavarria has nine hits and nine RBIs in his last four games, all of which have been Marlins wins. He is hitting .333 in 19 games.  


Mets SS Wilmer Flores coming out of funk
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:08 am ET) Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores hit just .182 over the season's first 10 games, but credits manager Terry Collins for sticking with him as his bat begins to warm up, per NJ.com.

Flores saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end in Sunday's loss to the Yankees, but he has raised his average to .276 with three homers - tied for second in the majors among shortstops. 

"I know that everything would come around and I would start doing good," Flores said. "I've had the opportunity to play everyday in the minors and I know how it goes. If I start everyday I know I'm going to hit. Just gotta keep pushing, keep pushing. I have the opportunity to play everyday so that's why I wasn't worried about it."


Red Sox closer Koji Uehara not utilizing fastball this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been throwing an unusual amount of offspeed pitches to start the season. Uehara has thrown fastballs on just 15 percent of his pitches this season, compared to 50 percent over the last three years, according to the Boston Herald.

Manager John Farrell isn't reading too much into it.

"He's going to go with what he feels," Farrell said. "Every 3 mph is about a foot distance in traveling to home plate. So there's a little bit different reaction time. But regardless of velocity there still needs to be the use of (the fastball) just to create separation between his fastball and his split."

Uehara is 1-1 so far this season with a 4.15 ERA and three saves in 4 1/3 innings.


 
 
 
Rankings