Welcome to September’s first edition of Stock Report by Pirates Breakdown! The Pittsburgh Pirates had a very good week, taking five of their six contests and only losing in the series finale in Atlanta. Let’s take a look at who stood out for the right and wrong reasons.
Whose Stock is Rising
It may have taken a while but Chris Archer appears to have finally found his groove in Pittsburgh. After turning in his first quality start on September 1st, he followed it up with another one on September 7th. He tossed six innings and gave up three runs on five hits (including a home run) and three walks to go along with six strikeouts. He also clubbed a double, so who knows, maybe Archer will become a threat at the plate as well.
Even though his season is now over after suffering a knee injury, Gregory Polanco ended 2018 on a strong note. Before the injury, Polanco had a seven game hitting streak intact, with back to back multi-hit games on September 3rd and 4th. Overall, Polanco slashed .254/.340/.499 with 23 home runs and 81 runs batted in. A fairly strong season for the right fielder, Polanco will look to build off of this heading into 2019 and become an even stronger bat in the Pittsburgh everyday lineup.
Whose Stock is Falling
Kyle Crick has been a strong bullpen option for the Pirates this year, but he has had some hiccups lately. In both victories over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday and Tuesday, Crick came into the game and served up a solo home run to Scooter Gennett. While these two home runs brought his season ERA up to 2.70, he has now given up a run in four of his last six appearances. Even considering those performances, Crick should go into 2019 with a bullpen role nailed down.
Since this is just his first taste of life in the big leagues, it is probably too early to overact about Kevin Newman’s performance so far. But he is just two for his last 12 and is slashing .128/.209/.154. It is a small sample size for sure, but his 13 strikeouts in 39 at-bats is somewhat concerning. But given that the Pirates really are not playing for much at this point, it makes sense to continue to give him innings since he could be a significant part of the team’s success next year.