The Pittsburgh Pirates are having one of their best starts to a season in years. As of today, April 29th, the Pirates have a record of 19-8 and currently sit in first place in the NL Central. The Pirates have become a team of misery and high draft picks in recent years, much to the dismay of Pittsburgh fans. The mid 2010’s brought a streak of wildcard games with only one NLDS appearance to show for it. But so far in 2023, things are looking much different for the Buccos.
The winning in Pittsburgh has been a nice change of scenery compared to the past years. One of the biggest concerns for the Pirates over the offseason was the desire to lock up star center fielder, Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds expressed his desire to be traded after multiple losing seasons, going as far as almost rejecting any discussion from the front office. But things have changed much to the delight of the fans in Pittsburgh. After only three weeks into the season, the Pirates and Reynolds came to an agreement on an eight-year, $106.75M deal.
This Pirates Lineup Has a Very High Ceiling
This extension for Bryan Reynolds marks as the highest contract ever given out in Pirates franchise. This move speaks volumes to how the Pirates front office is feeling about their squad this season so far. There has been a narrative in recent years of fans pleading to sell the team. The bottom of the division can get very old very quickly for the franchise with so much potential. But with tons of young talent and a great baseball environment, the ceiling is very high for this Pirates team.
While April has been overall great for the Pirates, it has a slight dark cloud hovering overhead. The main concern being the Pirates losing their star shortstop Oneil Cruz earlier in the month with a fractured ankle after a home plate collision. It’s unsure how long he will be out, but it’s suspected he won’t be returning in 2023. This is a huge blow to a lineup already exceeding expectations early in the season.
While of course it’s still too early to count on World Series aspirations, this Pirates team is going to have a lot of fun in 2023. The winning is contagious in this young squad. And with a veteran presence with the return of Pirates legend, Andrew McCutchen, there is going to be many reasons to visit PNC park this summer.
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