2015 Record: 98-64
Runs Per Game: 4.28 (15th)
Team ERA: 3.21 (2nd)
Run Differential: +101 (4th)
What Went Right:
Andrew McCutchen unsurprisingly played like an MVP again. Francisco Cervelli had a career year replacing Russell Martin. Jung-ho Kang was fantastic in his first year in America but his season didn’t end well.
Gerrit Cole did become that ace the Pirates needed and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young vote. Francisco Liriano had another good season. A.J. Burnett played well again in his return to Pittsburgh.
What Went Wrong:
Travis Snider declined and found himself traded. Josh Harrison’s batting average dropped almost 30 points.
Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton made a bunch of starts but neither was any good.
Player to Watch?:
We said Pedro Alvarez would come back and hit 30 home runs. He finished with 27 but his defense was even worse at first. He has to move to the AL to have any value.
There’s Always Next Year:
With Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, they have two stars to build around. They’ve had a lot of success in reaching the postseason but haven’t done anything in the playoffs when they’re there. They still need more talent around those two stars.
How Did We Do:
We thought the Pirates would be slightly worse than the previous year but they actually got a lot better. This team continues to defy everyone’s expectations.