Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look Back at 2019

Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

For the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2019 was eventful, even if not always for the right reasons. Here is a look back at the past year for the Buccos.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a year in 2019 that they would not like to see replicated any time soon. The product on the field was not impressive, but the drama away from the diamond did not help matters.

Still, there were some bright spots for Pittsburgh in 2019, some of which can provide hope moving into 2020.

The calendar year began by signing some veteran players, like JB Shuck, Francisco Liriano, and Melky Cabrera.

The season itself began on March 28, and featured a surprisingly strong month of April. The team spent a few days in first place in the NL Central, and at one time had a record of 12-6.

Unfortunately, that six games above .500 would be the best the Pirates could manage throughout the season. Pittsburgh, however, would hover around that .500 mark for quite some time, before a seven game losing streak dropped the club to 30-38 in early June.

Still, the Bucs hung tough and sat at 44-45 heading into the July All-Star Break. At this point, Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman were pleasantly surprising people with a .342 and .327 average, respectively.

Josh Bell was legitimately in MVP conversations, and he was set to represent Pittsburgh in both the All-Star Game, and the Home Run Derby. He was the first Pirate in the Derby since Pedro Alvarez in 2013.

It was after these mid-season festivities that the Pirates’ season began to spiral out of control. A stretch of 8-30 saw the Bucs quickly fall down the standings, and well out of the playoff picture.

As the regular season came down the home stretch, Pittsburgh bade farewell to Jordan Luplow and Corey Dickerson via trades. They also dealt with suspensions to multiple players, including All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez, whose criminal charges will keep him away from baseball for quite a while.

To cap things off, Pittsburgh parted ways with Clint Hurdle, Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington, and others. They also said goodbye to former player and broadcaster, Steve Blass.

The team will be moving in an entirely new direction as it turns its calendar. Travis Williams is the new president, Ben Cherington is the GM, and Derek Shelton is the manager.

While 2019 was not all bad, the good certainly was overshadowed. As the team begins a new year, it also will begin a new era of Pirates baseball.

What is your favorite Pirates memory of 2019? What are you most excited about in 2020? Leave your comments below!