In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are about to play a series against the red hot St. Louis Cardinals. What could go wrong? The Cardinals did not add much at the Trade Deadline and fired their manager and somehow that transformed them into one of the best teams in the league. St. Louis went from under .500 to 4.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Devil magic is real and no one can convince me otherwise.
In 2016 and 2017 the Pirates had a half-in, half-out approach at the trade deadline and the team proceeded to fall apart in August and September of both years. The Cardinals had the same approach this season and seem destined to be the hottest team once the MLB Postseason begins. It’s hard not to be continually frustrated by the Cardinals and their annoying consistency.
The Cardinals are certainly playing for a playoff berth, while the Pirates are just trying to keep their head above water. However, the Pirates still have plenty to play for as the rosters are about to expand on September 1st. The Pirates must play their young players and see what they have for 2019 and beyond. I know Clint Hurdle has a “must be this old” to play policy, but he needs to let the kids get some experience.
Sean Rodriguez, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer should have limited playing time in September. None of these three will be on the team in 2019, but Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier will be and they need all the at-bats they can get.
I still like and admire Clint Hurdle, but if he continues to play veterans throughout September, he should NOT be the manager come next April. I very rarely call for the firing of a manager, but it’s pretty simple; the Pirates are not making the playoffs this season, so it’s time to see if the prospects can make the transition to Major League players.