Published on September 8th, 2012 | by John Friend0
Walker, Snider Injuries Hinder Potentially Formidable Lineup
Nights like Friday night do not come around often and I’m sure everyone invested into the 2012 Pirates season wish it would have never came. Although it was quite miserable, a game with so many errors should have been expected at least once with a lineup consisting of such young players.
With rookies Brock Holt and Starling Marte playing in the most meaningful baseball games of their young careers, it only seems fair to grant them a mulligan. Unfortunately the Pirates starting lineup has much uncertainty surrounding it at this point.
Despite many people being critical of GM Neal Huntington down the stretch, the GM made some nice acquisitions and call-ups at the right time, but has not seen his lineup come to fruition yet. If the Pirates could stay healthy at this point, they would have one of the more formidable lineups in the league, but as we all know that has been easier said than done.
Starling Marte- Returned Friday night just in time to contribute to the seven error fiasco. Has not reported any problems in his rehab and should regain the feast or famine-form he’s shown since being called up earlier this season.
Neil Walker- The first game Walker missed was August 28th against the Cardinals. The injury was initially supposed to keep him out a handful of games. That has not been the case, as Walker’s ailing back has now kept him out for nine games and at least two more. Walker has still not taken batting practice and a return does not seem imminent.
Travis Snider- Snider has done nothing but impress with his approach at the plate and his hustle in the outfield. One other thing he’s done a lot of is tweak his hamstring. Snider will be out for another couple of days it seems like, as he rests his tweaked hammy. Snider was available for pinch-hitting Friday night.
Lineup That Never Was, But can Still be
If the Pirates manage to get Snider and Walker back, they will be able to field a very formidable lineup. Clint Barmes will absolutely be the Pirates starting shortstop down the stretch, but Holt could get a look at shortstop once or twice (seems less likely after Friday night’s error-fest).
Yes, the Pirates committed seven errors last night and the game was lost on the field and not in the lineup. At the same time, the Pirates only registered one hit through six innings against Travis Wood (4.64 ERA entering game).
Despite outstanding individual performances throughout the past several weeks, there has not been consistency within the Pirates lineup. If the Pirates can get Holt into a lineup with a healthy Walker and Snider along with the rest of the crew, the team can do some damage.
Holt has been the only legitimate option in the leadoff spot all season for the Pirates and having him and Marte at the top of the order could be a nice combination for the club.
The only question that remains–Will it be too late? Nobody knows, but with the Cardinals and Dodgers refusing to take a hold of the final wild- card spot despite the Pirates woes, anything is possible.