Pittsburgh PiratesManager: Clint Hurdle
Stadium: PNC Park
2008 Record: 67-95 (6th in NL Cent)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule
-- Tim Kurkjian
HITTER TO WATCH:
Toolsy outfielder Andrew McCutchen should be ready for the majors after a few months in Triple-A, with no one in Pittsburgh's outfield likely to pose any obstacle to his ascension.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Reliever Jeff Sues has an above-average fastball and a power slurve that he'll use to hitters on both sides of the plate, but mediocre control may hold him back.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Can the Pirates surprise teams? Will Freddy Sanchez become an elite second baseman? Can Ryan Doumit elevate himself to the next level of NL catchers? Register your vote.
Yes, Andy LaRoche had a dreadful 2008. He is coming off a stellar spring training, and he'll cost you practically nothing even in a deep NL-only league. Why not take a late-round shot on a guy who was once one of the game's better prospects?
Many people are looking at Nyjer Morgan as a dirt-cheap source for steals, but he performed dreadfully in the spring -- barely a .200 batting average -- and faces a lot of competition for at-bats in that outfield. There are more talented prospects ready to replace him.
--Tristan H. Cockcroft
INJURY TO WATCH
Jack Wilson. Wilson was at an all-time low in 2008. He played in his fewest games, largely as a result of injury. After a torn calf muscle and broken right (throwing) index finger derailed most of his season, Wilson wasn't sure he would still be in Pittsburgh this year. But in Pittsburgh he remains, and although he's not going to be a rock star, the hope is that he'll be healthy enough to continue to provide primarily a solid defensive presence. Despite missing a few days with a bruised knee in spring training, he's hoping he'll have his best attendance record in years in 2009.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS
No. 28 overall
No. 25 overall
No. 26 overall
No. 30 overall
No. 29 overall