The Pirates opened the season 6-3 during their first three series. Since then, the Pirates have gone 3-10 putting the team 4 games under .500. The biggest reason for the massive swing in performance is the starting pitching. Outside of Edinson Volquez, the Pirates pitching staff hasn't looked to be nearly as dominant as it was last year. This includes the relievers. Bryan Morris has been the highlight of the Pirates bullpen this year and many thought he didn't even deserve a spot on the roster.
Another reason for the Pirates lack of wins over the past 10 game stretch has been the ongoing issue of rightfield. With Jose Tabata and Travis Snider both greatly struggling at the plate, the Pirates will need to upgrade their corner outfield position soon as Pirates right fielders are hitting .209 with a .272 on base percentage. Snider has proved to be a valuable bat off the bench going 3 for 4 with a homerun. Those stats aren't going to get the job done though for a player often hitting in the 2 or 6 hole of the lineup.
One possible solution the Pirates have is to call up Gregory Polanco from AAA. I know that the Pirates don't want to start that arbitration clock too soon, but he has shown that he belongs in a higher class through the first 19 games of the AAA season. Playing exclusively in right field, Polanco has been hitting .403/.439/.623 with 3 stolen bases, 3 homeruns, and 20 RBI to go with his 4 doubles and 2 triples. Add in the fact that he is striking out in less than 13% of his plate appearances makes him look like a sparkplug for this Pirates offense.
I finally got my hands on a Gregory Polanco Bowman auto for less than $20 and am very happy to add it to my collection.
Let's Go Bucs!!!