Paul Zeise: Feel-good stories and prospect progress are nice, but the Pirates need to win

Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Baseball

PITTSBURGH — The news that Andrew McCutchen had signed with the Pirates was incredible and predictably and rightfully was received with open arms and enthusiasm from fans and observers of all shapes and sizes and from all corners of Pirates nation.

McCutchen is the most popular Pirates player probably since Willie Stargell played. He is the most important Pirates player since Barry Bonds. He helped lead the Pirates renaissance as they put 20 years of losing in their rearview mirrors and clinched playoff berths three years in a row from 2013-15.

He was not only the best player on those teams, but he was the biggest fan favorite, the team leader, the most respected and most requested player during that era, as well. He is also a champion in the community and just someone that was always very easy to root for.

And now he is back home and back in the Pirates uniform to perhaps end his career where it began.

The Pirates also signed high-level international prospects Jun-Seok Shim and Raymond Mola. Both are ranked among the top 26 international prospects in this year’s pool.

They also added veterans Carlos Santana and Rich Hill this offseason. Both are going to be immediate upgrades at their respective positions, or so we are told.


It sounds like a brilliant offseason. It sounds like all of the prospects in the system are doing well in their respective winter programs and the 40-man roster is bursting with potential.


Now go win games.

I’m sorry to be that guy, but I can’t imagine I am the only one who is tired of reading about how great the Pirates offseason has been, how many more prospects are signed, how the FIP or WHIP or some cherry-picked nonsensical statistic suggests a 42-year old pitcher is going to find the fountain of youth ...


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