I actually posted most of this as a reply to another post on this site; then thought that it was worth some feedback on its own. (Once again, I must preface this with the FACT that I love the BUCS (born and raised in the burgh and was standing outside Forbes Field when Maz hit the homer and am LIFELONG and will be forever a fan. I still believe the team can win it all, but recognize a real problem with our lineup.)
The original post was critical of the contributions that Alvarez made vs. his play in the field. I responded that "I think you will be hard pressed to find a guy with Pedro's stats in the 6th slot on many times. The problem is that we were sold on the idea that he would be our 4th or 5th person in the line-up. Which means the REAL problem is that we have struggled to find a STAR person for the 4th or 5th spot, and that is the offensive issue on the BUCS." When Jones and McGehee were hitting, we were an offensive machine. This allowed us to have Walker in the #2 slot where he is unreal! Who else has a #2 hitter like Walker with his power, clutch and average?
It was obvious from the beginning of the season that we needed a corner outfielder who could bat 4 or 5 and there just are not too many of them that we could ever afford if they were available. Yes we made some trades, but we did not upgrade where we really needed: A clean-up or #5 guy. (I must say in my opinion we did not get the value we should have for Lincoln.) At this point I see Snider as a clone of Presley, not an upgrade. I really hope I am so wrong.
My dream is that Marte will grow into another Cutch and we will have the line-up that will eventually bring us a World Series. I hate to put this on Marte's shoulders, but do not see us ever bringing in an All-Star free agent power hitter, and do not see better than Marte in our organization for help.
Alvarez, in my opinion, has given us all or more than we should have expected going into this season. (Especially the way he started the season.) I also think that Jones has been everything we should have expected. Walker has been great. Cutch has EXCEEDED expectations. McHenry has been lights out! Our bull pen has been fantastic. Our starting pitching has been very good. Our defense has been very good. We are in second place! We could still win this whole thing. But, without a legitimate clean-up or #5 power hitter, we will have to win a lot of one run games and have starting pitching more like the first half of the season.