It never fails; pretty much every time the Pirates post their starting lineup, or manager Derek Shelton comes in to make a pitching change, there is backlash from the Pirates fans. Some of the criticism is fair, and I’d be confident in betting that Shelton and the staff are willing to admit that.
The Pirates’ Major League roster as it stands now is brutal. When/if the Pirates contend for playoff berths, a ton of guys you’re seeing now won’t be there. This is the part of the rebuild that is going to be ugly, and that includes lineups or yanking a starting pitcher after four or five innings.
On his radio show, Ben Cherington discussed “tangible improvement” he’s seen from the Pirates’ Major League club on top of where the team needs to make improvements.
“I think I’ll start on how we are making decisions,” said Cherington on how the Pirates prepare for games and during the games. “I’m really encouraged by the way we’re making decisions in terms of who’s in the lineup when a pitcher is in a game, when a pitcher is out of a game.”
In a way, Cherington covered all of his bases by following up his previous statement by emphasizing having a lot of good players and how the strategy part is “amplified” when the Pirates have a lot of good players.
“As we are building our roster, the development of our strategy and the way we deploy our players is critical to us while we are building our roster,” said Cherington. “As our roster gets deeper and stronger over time, the strategy supports it.
Cherington then doubled down on his first statement and gave his vote of confidence in the current staff. Cherington complimented Shelton and company on how they have handled the games the Pirates have been winning or close to winning.
Maybe there is a bigger picture none of us are seeing, but as it stands right now, Cherington has left us scratching our heads and giving us more questions than answers.