As the Pirates 2016 season is winding down, finishing over .500 isn’t likely, which for me at least is a disappointment. Even though they made the playoffs and had strong regular season records the past 3 years, they went into this season with another legitimate shot to make the playoffs. With the pitching rotation and batting lineup, even though they lost some big bats (Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker) over the winter, the Pirates were projected to have a big season. But this season was filled with aggravation with Andrew McCutchen having the worst year of his career and not good pitching from the starting rotation the majority of the season.
When the trade deadline came around it looked like we gave up the ship trading away several top prospects and starting pitcher Francisco Liriano to Toronto for basically nothing. But the biggest departure was Mark Melancon, traded to the Nationals for relief pitchers. And as most seasons do they come with injuries, in the beginning of September pitcher Gerrit Cole and 2nd baseman Josh Harrison went down with season-ending injuries. These events made the Pirates chance of making the playoffs even slimmer, which made for more call-ups from the minor leagues. Especially with a loaded NL Central with the Chicago Cubs leading the pack in the National League and most likely the team to beat in the playoffs, the Pirates will finish with a losing record against this year against them.
Looking back on the season it’s nice to think what if everything went the Pirates way this year with injuries and overall performances from the starters, but with new and exciting players on the roster it will make for an interesting 2017 season.