As the 15th and final part of my preview series this piece is supposed to serve as a bit of summary and an overall review of the team. The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates have very few areas which can be viewed as a definite strength but they also have few which can be considered an absolute weakness. The Pirates roster consists of a few plus players, a few weak spots, a few spots that should be around league average and a few more which are truly wild cards for this season. It is really difficult to get a good feeling about this year’s Pirate team because of all the question marks like Pedro Alvarez, Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett.
This season’s Pirate team could be the one that ends the 19 year losing streak or it could be one that loses 95 games. So many question marks and so many uncertainties make this a very interesting season. For once Pirate fans have a little bit of real hope headed into this season, that isn’t much but it is an improvement over the past seasons. I hate to pin it all on one player but if the Pirates have any chance at all of making a run towards 500 and possibly … gulp … competing for a playoff spot they are going to need Alvarez to break out this season. I have covered previously what I am expecting from him so I will not get into that here but it is rather clear to me that he is the key.
The question still remains though what should we expect from the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates? Should we be looking for a contender? A team that breaks the streak? An improvement on last season? Merely avoiding regressing from last season? Or what about a team that just doesn’t appear to be terrible? I think reasonably we have the right to expect the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates to be better than last season and I think we can reasonable expect the team to play well enough to not get blown out to often. We should see solid pitching and will hopefully have a few everyday starters emerge to boost the lineup.
All that leaves us with only one last piece of business, how good will the Pirates be this season? As I said earlier I see an improvement over last year but I do not see them breaking the .500 mark. They will probably once again finish 4th in the central division but for some reason I do have a feeling that the Brewers are in for a rough season this year so 3rd may not be out of the question. Finally I am going to give my final prediction of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirate’s record and my prediction is 77-85.