As we celebrate Halloween, which recent Pittsburgh Pirates performances would qualify as scary costumes?
Welcome to Bucco Breakfast, a new daily morning feature designed to help you through the offseason. Each day we’ll roll out a quick topic designed to spark conversation as well as provide some interesting baseball reading from around the web.
If you are a procrastinator needing to come up with a Halloween costume quickly, here are a few Pittsburgh Pirates-themed ideas from recent years.
2018 Sean Rodriguez
We start with a recent example. S-Rod was downright spooky in 2018, slashing .167/.277/.313 in 173 plate appearances. You have to feel for the guy, having gone through a horrific car accident in the previous offseason that derailed his career. Yet, the Pirates had been late to realize that before giving him some meaningful at-bats during an important stretch — Rodriguez totaled 54 plate appearances in May.
2014 Wandy Rodriguez
Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself? In 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a move for a pitcher that would help their playoff push that season while remaining under team control going forward. In 2018, the club pulled off the same maneuver, though many will hope that Chris Archer does not repeat the career trajectory of one Wandy Rodriguez.
The trouble started in 2013, when Wandy has forearm troubles, yet 2014 stands out as perhaps his worst stretch in a Pirates uniform. Rodriguez made six starts of 7.41 FIP ball, giving up 3.38 dingers per nine. And just like that, the dream of Rodriguez making meaningful starts for the Pirates for several years was gone.
2011 Ryan Ludwick
In the first year of the Clint Hurdle era, Pirates GM Neal Huntington sent a signal to the club’s fans indicating the club was going to push towards the playoffs when appropriate. He brought in two sluggers in Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick.
Lee went on to slash .337/.398/.584 in 113 plate appearances with the club, albeit interrupted by a fractured wrist.
Ludwick, on the other hand, struggled. posting a .232/.341/.330 line in 133 plate appearances. He struck out 27.9 percent of the time and was clearly not the power threat the Pirates thought they were getting. Ludwick’s 26-home run rebound 2012 season only adds to the frustration.
Got any others? I’m sure you do, so let us know in the comments!