Put me in, coach.
On Saturday, the Pirates found a shortstop...to be a part of their front office. World Series MVP David Eckstein is joining the club as a special assistant in baseball operations. With him around, the new, hot analytic will be GRIT.
Like every team, the Pirates have a collection of former players on their coaching staff and in their front office. They have so many, in fact, that you can build a lineup of former major leaguers. It would probably look something like this:
3B Jamey Carroll- Special Assistant, Baseball Operations
RF Clint Hurdle- Manager
1B Kevin Young- Special Assistant, Baseball Operations
2B Joey Cora- Third Base Coach
SS David Eckstein- Special Assistant, Baseball Operations
LF Jacob Cruz- Assistant Hitting Coach
C Tom Prince- Bench Coach
CF Kimera Bartee- First Base Coach
P Ray Searage- Pitching Coach
I played around with the lineup construction for a bit. Carroll, Cora and Eckstein all had a career OBP in the .340s, but with no pop. I chose to bat Cora cleanup because his .369 slugging percentage was the best out of the trio. Jacob Cruz bats between Eckstein and Prince to keep the right-handed batter/left-handed batter pattern. It goes right/left until the end of the lineup with Prince and Bartee, who are both righties.
I’m banking on the good Young showing up to provide some life in the middle of the order. Hurdle may joke about his playing career, but he’s the only one in this lineup with a wRC+ over 100 (106). Don’t expect much with the bat from Tom Prince, but he had a good glove.
Perhaps Special Assistant to baseball operations Scott Elarton should start, but Searage was the better pitcher over the course of his career (3.50 career ERA, 3.87 FIP and 11 saves over 254 games). Special Assistant to the General Manager Doug Strange is available off the bench.
And managing this gray-haired black and gold team is Jeff Banister.
Keon Broxton was traded to the Mets Saturday. He still isn’t a good hitter, but his defense makes him valuable.
Wow, look at these free agent classes for the next three years! I can’t wait for teams to not spend money on them!