The Pittsburgh Pirates face the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night at Great American Ballpark, first pitch 7:05 pm.
Back in December, Pirates signed ex-Tampa Bay Rays catcher/outfielder/first baseman John Jaso. The club signed him to what some would say a pretty hefty 2 year contract worth $8 million. In his brief Pirates career, he has been a excellent teammate, playing almost everyday at first base, where he had only two career starts coming into 2016.
His addition has also added another good left handed bat into the lineup; he has hit in the leadoff spot ahead of Andrew McCutchen. Jaso has helped fill the void left by the now departed Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker. Walker has flourished with the Mets while Alvarez has struggled with Baltimore
Though his stats may not be at an All-Star level, Jaso’s on field play has been no less than magical. His bat has been tremendous and he has flashed the leather at first base, recording only one error so far in 2016, surprising due to his lack of experienced at the position. Last year, Pedro had 23 errors at first, whether that being with his glove or a throwing error.
Having an above average glove at first base again has been a big help for the Pirates infield. Jaso has also been a big contributor in the Pirates new offensive philosophy: patience at the plate. Already known for his ability to get on-base, he has drawn 11 walks so far this season.
For you stat geeks, last season Alvarez in 437 plate appearances with the Pirates recorded only 106 hits and struck out 131 times. With his struggles in Baltimore, I would like to think that most if not all Pirates fans have loved the signing of Jaso. He is a very solid player that has fun playing the game.
Hopefully the Pirates get a few more good years out of Jaso.