Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview:
Manager: Clint Hurdle
2012 Record: 79-83 (4th in NL Central)
Key Additions: C Russell Martin, P Francisco Liriano, IF Brandon Inge
Key Losses: P Joel Hanrahan, SP Kevin Correia
The Pirates were playoff contenders for a good portion of 2012. Pittsburgh did well with the hot stove this offseason. While they lost Closer Joel Hanrahan and starter Kevin Correia, they gained pitcher Francisco Liriano and catcher Russell Martin.
Looking at the Pirates rotation, it is a solid group. Ace A.J. Burnett should thrive in Pittsburgh. He seemed uncomfortable in the bight lights of New York, but Pittsburgh should provide him a career revival of sorts. Continuing down the list, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, and Liriano will provide the Pittsburgh Pirates will a quality staff that will compete in the National League Central.
Offensively, the Pirates additioin of Martin is huge. It gives the team another quality bat to go along with center fielder Andrew McCutchen and first baseman Garrett Jones. Power hitting third baseman Pedro Alverez and scrappy second basemen Neil Walker make this lineup one to pay attention to.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a team on the rise. While they are not quite playoff ready, they could improve on the foundation built last season. Look for the Pirates to finish in third place, edging out the Brewers.