Pittsburgh Pirates Nearing Playoffs: Key Trades Could Secure Their Spot

Pittsburgh Pirates Nearing Playoffs: Key Trades Could Secure Their Spot

As the playoff season approaches, the Pittsburgh Pirates are performing well, pushing them closer to a chance at October baseball.

With a current record of 39-41, they are just two games away from a wild card spot and 8.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who lead their division. To boost their playoff chances, the Pirates need to make some smart trades.

Star Players Leading the Team

Bryan Reynolds is on fire with a 23-game hitting streak, the longest in baseball right now. He leads in hits, extra-base hits, and ranks high in home runs, RBIs, and batting average among outfielders. His stellar performance is crucial for the Pirates.

Oneil Cruz has also been impressive, raising his batting average and hitting more home runs, which has helped the team’s offense. Nick Gonzales is another consistent hitter, providing stability with his .281 average and .749 OPS.

Rowdy Tellez has improved his batting average from .174 in May to .234, hitting some home runs along the way. Connor Joe, hitting .245 and playing both outfield and first base, offers flexibility in the lineup.

Strong Pitching

The Pirates’ pitchers are doing well, with a team ERA of 4.01, placing them 15th overall. Mitch Keller, Jared Jones, and Paul Skenes (with a 2.14 ERA) are leading the rotation. Bailey Falter’s 4.00 ERA ties him for 51st among MLB pitchers, making the Pirates tough to beat in a playoff series.

Areas for Improvement

Despite their strengths, the Pirates have some weak spots. Centerfield is struggling with Michael A. Taylor and Jack Suwinski both batting under .200. Yasmani Grandal’s low batting average and poor defense, along with Jared Triolo’s weak hitting, create gaps that need filling.

The bullpen also needs help. While Colin Holderman, Carmen Mlodzinski, Aroldis Chapman, and David Bednar are reliable, relying too much on a few pitchers can lead to fatigue. Adding depth here is crucial.

Potential Trade Targets

To stay competitive, the Pirates should act fast to secure top trade targets. Potential additions include:

  • Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Miami Marlins): Hitting .264 with ten home runs, Chisholm is affordable and versatile, enhancing the lineup.
  • Josh Bell (Miami Marlins): With a .243 average and eight home runs, Bell could bring power and experience.
  • Elias Diaz (Colorado Rockies): A solid catcher with good defensive skills.
  • Jalen Beeks (Reliever, Colorado Rockies): Adds depth to the bullpen.
  • Jesse Winker (Washington Nationals), Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago White Sox), and Taylor Ward (Los Angeles Angels): Outfielders who can boost both offense and defense.

In return, the Pirates could offer players like pitcher Thomas Harrington, Matt Gorski (.261 average, 14 home runs in Triple-A), Braxton Ashcraft, Anthony Solometo, Termar Johnson, or Hunter Barco. Promoting top prospects like Gorski and Liover Peguero (.259 average) could also strengthen the team.

Tough Road Ahead

The Pirates face strong opponents like the Braves, Cardinals, Mets, Brewers, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Astros. These teams are also fighting for playoff spots, making strategic trades and roster improvements essential.

Post-All-Star and August Challenges

After the All-Star break, the Pirates have crucial games against the Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Astros, directly affecting their playoff chances. August won’t be easier, with more tough matches ahead. To stay in the race, the Pirates need their current roster to perform well and bring in key players through smart trades.

By making the right moves, the Pittsburgh Pirates can strengthen their lineup, deepen their bullpen, and secure their spot in the playoffs.

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