We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Pirates Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Raise the Jolly Roger.
1) 2008 was a tale of two halves for Freddy Sanchez.Â The 1st half was Dirty Sanchez (.226/.251/.304), the 2nd half was Steady Freddy (.346/.378/.483).Â Which Freddy Sanchez can we expect for 2009?
Freddy has been a heck of an enigma ever since winning the batting title in 2006. Even then I don’t think he was super-valuable fantasy asset due to a lack of patience and power, but since then it’s been all downhill. The Bucs are expecting Steady Freddy in ’09 because his shoulder bothered him for a good chunk of last year and it’s all healed up now, but even when he’s hitting, he’s not a great 2B fantasy option.
2) Nate McLouth went from battling for the starting CF position and leadoff spot to being the #3 hitter for much of the 2nd half.Â Can McLouth put together another 100/25/100/.270/15 year?
Nate started out on fire last year and dropped off a little bit in the second half, and I think some of that had to do with the losing of Bay and Nady behind him in the lineup. He’s not a #3 hitter (and I think manager John Russell has said he prefers Nate leading off), but it’s absolutely reasonable to think he’ll produce similar numbers this year.
3) What Pittsburgh player puts the irate in Pirate for you?
That would have been an easy one a year ago, but now that Ronny Paulino is gone, I’ll say Ian Snell because he’s “irate” the most often. Basically every time Snell loses a game or the Pirates go on a losing streak (often) you can bank on him having some quote in the paper the next day along the lines of “losing sucks, I hate it.” I’d be upset too if I burned a finger on my pitching hand while cooking chicken.
4) Pittsburgh had a few pleasant surprises for fantasy baseballers in 2008 in Ryan Doumit and Paul Maholm.Â Who do you think are the best fantasy breakout candidates of 2009?
On the offense I (along with many people around/within the team) would say OF Brandon Moss and 3B Andy LaRoche, two guys who have great records as prospects but struggled with the Pirates after coming in the Bay trade last year. As for the pitchers, we don’t even know who’s going to be in the starting rotation (besides Paul Maholm, of course).
5) The theme song of the 1979 Pirates was ‘We Are Family’.Â What would be the best theme song for the post-Bondsian Pirates?Â A) “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-ZÂ B) “So Far Away” by Dire Straits C) “Loser” by Beck D) “Saved The Best For Last” by Vanessa Williams
E) All of the above