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Pirates Power Rankings: Starting Rotation Receives Due Credit

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Pittsburgh Pirates' Mitch Keller delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Pittsburgh Pirates went 2-3 on the road last week, splitting a doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers before dropping two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. Jared Jones got dinged up in his start in Detroit, his first real growing pains after a torrid stretch to begin his big league career, while Paul Skenes, Mitch Keller and Bailey Falter each continued to excel.

Another week below .500 means Pittsburgh took a hit in the most recent editions of MLB power rankings, with each of the major outlets demoting them at least one spot in the standings.

Once again, the vibe surrounding the Buccos remains positive despite their struggles, as none of the outlets said anything dismissive about their woes… a far cry from the attitude adopted in recent years. It isn’t often that scuffling teams receive the benefit of the doubt week in and week out, but here’s what the rankings had to say about the Pirates.

  • MLB.com dropped the Pirates two more spots to No. 23, noting the strength of their starting rotation in recent weeks even as they continue to develop top pitching prospects.
  • CBS Sports demoted the Pirates one spot to No. 21, complimenting Falter for his hot stretch to begin the season.
  • Pittsburgh fell four spots to No. 24 in Bleacher Report’s rankings, which noted their winning record against the National League—brought down by a scuffling 6-13 record against the American League—following their series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. They also paid dues to Nick Gonzales’ scorching-hot May, where he slashed .319/.377/.536 in 19 games.
  • USA Today dropped the Pirates to No. 24, drawing attention to the coming matchup between Paul Skenes and the superstar laden Los Angeles Dodgers.

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