Just for fun, I concocted a lineup of former Pirates, from the opening day lineups posted at MLB.com:
In my fictitious opening day lineup below, I have listed in parentheses the actual opening day lineup position, current team, and defensive position for each player:
7. Brandon Moss LF (5 Athletics 1B)
8. Luis Cruz SS (6 Dodgers SS)
Observations and Notes:
- That lineup looks pretty strong on offense. The middle duplicates actual opening day lineup positions in spots 2 through 6, and the lineup projects to have good power.
- The defense is not strong, but wouldn't be embarrassing (except possibly Doumit catching).
- I could have included Ronny Cedeno at SS instead of Cruz, and Eric Kratz at C in Doumit's place. (Cedeno is listed as the opening day SS for Houston, batting 9th, while Kratz is listed as the opening day catcher for the Phils, batting 8th.) If using Cedeno and Kratz in this fictional starting lineup, I would move Moss up to #6, and follow with Kratz and Cedeno (in either order) in the 7 and 8 holes. Seems that would improve the defense at the expense of offense.
- The lineup could be improved further by including could-have-been-should-have-been Pirate Matt Wieters at catcher. He's listed in the cleanup hole for the Orioles' on opening day. I'd be tempted to keep him in the #6 hole in my lineup above, replacing Doumit (and improving both the offense and the defense).
- Only other could-have-been-should-have-been guy I identified is Lonnie Chisenhall, listed as the opening day 3B for Cleveland (batting 8th). Chisenhall was drafted in the 11th round by the Pirates in 2006 but didn't sign..... then was drafted and signed by the Indians in 2008. I'd keep Ramirez at 3rd and Chisenhall on the bench.
- There were no former Pirates listed as opening day starting pitchers. (No surprise there.)
At the end of the day, I'd feel pretty good about my team's chances by opening the season with that lineup. It lacks speed, but it fairly WREAKS of veteranosity. ;-)