2021 Spring Training: Can the Pittsburgh Pirates Right the Ship?

The Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the worst teams in the MLB last season. Pittsburgh is easily going to lose over 100 games once again this season because they are in rebuild mode. The Pirates continue to trade players away for prospects.

This is the only relevant thing to do at this point in time if you are in Pittsburgh’s front office. People and fans have always questioned team owner Bob Nutting. Ben Cherington is the current general manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The current manager for Pittsburgh is Derek Shelton. He has to deal with the rebuilding process. In order for this team to make strides, they are going to have to be better in player development moving forward and that is something this organization is going to have to work on.

Pittsburgh will most likely finish in last place in the National League Central this season. The St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Cincinnati Reds will all be better than them. If the Pittsburgh Pirates somehow don’t finish with 100 or more losses this season, then I guess the 2021 regular season will be considered a success to their standards.

Starting Pitchers

Mitch Keller, Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault, Tyler Anderson, and JT Brubaker will be the starting pitchers on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Keller has a ton of potential to be Pittsburgh’s ace one day, but the Pirates need to develop him properly and not ruin him.

Kuhl won’t be a bad number two starter, but the rest of the rotation might be whacked around all regular season long. Jameson Taillon was traded this past offseason to the New York Yankees for more prospects. Tallion was coming off of Tommy John Surgery.


Richard Rodriguez, Chris Stratton, Kyle Crick, Michael Feliz, and Clay Holmes will be the key relievers on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Crick is probably Pittsburgh’s best reliever. It is unknown who will be the closer, but it could most likely be Rodriguez.

Projected Lineup

(C) Jacob Stallings, (1B) Colin Moran, (2B) Adam Frazier, (3B) Ke’Bryan Hayes, (SS) Kevin Newman, (LF) Bryan Reynolds, (CF) Anthony Alford, and (RF) Gregory Polanco will be the projected starters for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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They traded away third baseman/first baseman Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals this past offseason for more prospects.

Outfielder Cole Tucker and infielder Erik Gonzalez will be two of the key backups on the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.

Stallings was one of Pittsburgh’s best players last season. He could make his way up the catcher rankings throughout the regular season in the MLB.

Hayes is the heartbeat of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is highly rated across the organization and the franchise. Ke’Bryan Hayes will be the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise for the next decade.

Frazier and Newman could potentially have very good seasons for Pittsburgh.

Reynolds is another player who could potentially hit for average, contact, and RBI’s for the Pirates.

Polanco has been with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for a very long time.

Pittsburgh will most likely look to make even more trades at the trade deadline this regular season and become sellers once again.

Key Dates

Sunday, February 28th: Started spring training games against the Baltimore Orioles.

Thursday, April 1st: Opening day on the road against the Chicago Cubs.

Thursday, April 8th: Home opener against the Chicago Cubs for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Do you think the Pittsburgh Pirates will end up losing 100 games this season or no? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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