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  1. #1
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    All Alphabet Pirates Teams

    This is a bit of a silly exercise but I've been working on assembling all time Pirates teams based upon what letter a player's last name starts with. I'm doing full 25 man rosters and I'm aiming to make them all functional so some of the choices need to be considered with that in mind. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post my teams in this thread in kind of a clubhouse way listing the 25 players and giving a few notes about the team's construction.

    Twenty letters are able to field a full 25 man roster and then I have a 21st team I've nicknamed QUIZY as I've taken players who's last names start with one of those 5 letters and formed an additional team (note there has never been a Pirates player with a last name starting with X). I figured this should be a fun little exercise to conduct as Spring Training unfolds. Feel free to comment/discuss my choices.
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  2. #2
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    Team A

    Team A


    Lineup
    Matty Alou, CF (1966-1970)*
    Cal Abrams, RF (1953-1954)*
    Ed Abbaticchio, 2B (1907-1910)
    Pedro Alvarez, 1B (2010-2015)*
    Bill Almon, 3B (1985-1987)
    Jermaine Allensworth, LF (1996-1998)
    Gene Alley, SS (1963-1973)
    Toby Atwell, C (1953-1956)*

    Notes: Alou and Alley are the stars of Team A as the duo have the first and second most time spent with the Pirates as anyone on the team. Alvarez is of course spent more time at 3B than 1B but the need at 1B was greater. Almon was primarily an OF but also played 3B and SS so he takes the 3B duty while Alvarez slides across. Allensworth slides out of CF to play LF where hopefully his defense will play better.

    Bench
    C: Jimmy Archer (1904, 1918)
    1B/OF: Bill Abstein (1906, 1909)
    IF: Sparky Adams (1928-1929)
    OF: Goat Anderson (1907)*
    PR/U: Matt Alexander (1978-1981) #

    Notes: In between his two short stints with the Pirates, Archer was actually a solid catcher for the Chicago Cubs but he gets the reserve spot here because he is the only other available catcher. Alexander only received 27 PA with the Pirates but played in over 100 games mainly serving primarily as a pinch runner (he was primarily an OF but played all over the field when needed).

    Total PA: 16,509 (Alley and Alou combine for 7,556)
    * Means left handed hitter
    # Means switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Babe Adams (1907, 1909-1916, 1918-1926)
    #2: Vic Aldridge (1925-1927)
    #3: Jimmy Anderson (1999-2002)*
    #4: Bronson Arroyo (2000-2002)
    #5: Tony Armas Jr (2007)

    Notes: Adams is a terrific ace for this squad but the depth behind him is lacking. Aldridge is a solid pitcher but is a very weak number two and the rest of the group quickly turns sour as no one else had an ERA under 5 for his career with the Pirates.

    Bullpen

    CL: Luis Arroyo (1956-1957)*
    SU: John Axford (2014)
    SU: Jose Ascanio (2009, 2011)

    P: Harry Arundel (1882)
    P: Dave Anderson (1890)*
    P: Ed Albosta (1946)
    P: Ed Acosta (1970)

    Notes: Each bullpen is going to consist of three relievers to fill in the back end and then additional pitchers who can be starters or relievers. Team A only had a total of 12 pitchers so the bullpen consists of everyone who didn't crack the rotation. None of these guys had particularly good careers while with the Pirates but it is who there is to fill out the staff. Arroyo gets the closer job by default as he in the only reliever (defined as 20% or fewer of his appearances being starts) with over 11 IP.

    Total IP: 4,888 (2,991.1 belongs to Adams)
    * Means left handed pitcher

    Others: As mentioned there were no other pitchers but there were a couple of other position players I considered for the bench. Gair Allie and Alf Anderson were strong defensive infielders for a short time with the Pirates but with a defense first shortstop they didn't really fit with the makeup of the team. Rich Aude (1B) and Tony Alvarez (OF) are more modern players who I considered putting on the team over Abstein and Anderson because I'm planning on giving the edge to recent guys when its close but the difference in playing time was just too much to overcome.

    Overall: Team A is probably one of the weakest entries in this series but even this team isn't without its merits. Alley, Alou and Adams are three very good Pirates in franchise history and even Abbaticcho has some strong numbers over a shorter period of time. The offense is likely to be ok but it is with the pitching that this team is going to struggle.
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  3. #3
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    Team B


    Lineup
    Ginger Beaumont, CF (1899-1906)*
    Bobby Bonilla, 3B (1986-1991) #
    Barry Bonds, LF (1986-1992)*
    Jason Bay, RF (2003-2008)
    Smoky Burgess, C (1959-1964)*
    Jake Beckley, 1B (1888-1889, 1891-1896)*
    Jay Bell, SS (1989-1996)
    Lou Bierbauer, 2B (1891-1896)*

    Notes: This is one deep lineup with Barry Bonds as the focal point but the bats all around him are solid. Bay was of course primarily a LF but he is sliding over into RF since Bonds has LF filled. Bonilla split his time between 3B and the OF but there is simply no room for him in the OF so he gets the 3B job. Bierbauer is the one weak bat in the lineup but he is renowned defender at 2B which more than justifies his spot on the team.

    Bench
    C: Bill Baker (1941-1943, 1946)
    1B: Sid Bream (1985-1990)*
    IF: Dick Bartell (1927-1930)
    3B/OF: Bob Bailey (1962-1966)
    OF: Carson Bigbee (1916-1926)*

    Notes: The catcher position for Team B was a little weak but Baker is still a fine backup option to Burgess. Bream nearly won the starting 1B job so is rewarded with a bench job even though as a left hander it is a bit of an odd fit. Bartell and Bailey won over some serious competition for the reserve infield jobs and Bailey will also help out in the OF on occasion. Bigbee is a terrific 4th OF and actually had the second most PA on this team with the Pirates (Jay Bell is 1st) but couldn't crack the outstanding trio of starters.

    Total PA: 40,586 (Bartell and Baker are the only two to not have at least 2,000)
    * Means left handed hitter
    # Means switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Cy Blanton (1934-1939)
    #2: Bert Blyleven (1978-1980)
    #3: A.J. Burnett (2012-2013, 2015)
    #4: Steve Blass (1964, 1966-1974)
    #5: Max Butcher (1939-1945)

    Notes: An all right handed rotation is not the way I wanted to go but there just aren't any left handers comparable to the top right handed starting options so it is what we get. The top 3 in the rotation were all terrific in their relatively brief time with the Pirates while the bottom two starters make it largely on longevity though they weren't exactly slouches either.

    Bullpen
    CL: Stan Belinda (1989-1993)
    SU: Doug Bair (1976, 1989-1990)
    SU: Antonio Bastardo (2015-2016)*

    P: Kris Benson (1999-2000, 2002-2004)
    P: Jim Bibby (1978-1981, 1983)
    P: Ken Brett (1974-1975)*
    P: Nelson Briles (1971-1973)

    Notes: The B team is surprisingly weak when it comes to pure relief options with only Belinda ever serving any significant time as closer. Bair and Bastardo both had good stretches as relief pitchers but its safe to say without the rule of a minimum of 3 relievers they wouldn't have cracked the squad. Benson and Bibby pushed hard for rotation spots but will serve out of the pen. Briles was just a half step behind those two while Brett was originally off the team but I felt a second lefty was needed for the bullpen.

    Total IP: 7,715.1 (All non-RP except the late addition Brett have over 500 IP)
    * Means left handed pitcher

    Others: Bobby Byrne and Clyde Barnhart ran essentially dead even with Bob Bailey for the last bench spot and Bailey only got the job because I decided to give preference to more recent players when the race is close. Dale Berra a strong defensive shortstop for the Pirates in the late 70s/early 80s provided stiff competition to Bartell but I opted to go with the stronger bat over stronger glove. Finally Tom Brown one of the best pre-1900 Pirates couldn't crack the outfield group.On the pitching side Mace Brown made the team but then got cut in favor of a second left hander out of the pen. Joe Beimel, Sean Burnett and Brian Boehringer provided the competition for the bullpen spots.

    Overall: This is probably one of the better teams you are going to see and the lineup in particularly is deadly and should put up a lot of runs. The rotation is stout as well as there really isn't a weakness in the group. If there are any weaknesses on this team they are probably backup catcher and back end of the bullpen as neither area seems particularly great but still are passable.
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  4. #4
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    Team C

    Lineup
    Max Carey, CF (1910-1926) #
    Fred Clarke, LF (1900-1911, 1913-1915)*
    Roberto Clemente, RF (1955-1972)
    Donn Clendenon, 1B (1961-1968)
    Fred Carroll, C (1885-1889, 1891)
    Dave Cash, 3B (1969-1973)
    George Cutshaw, 2B (1918-1921)
    Billy Cox, SS (1941, 1946-1947)

    Notes: That outfield is simply wow. All three received 6,000+ PA with the Pirates and all 3 are in the Hall of Fame. There isn't going to be a better outfield on any team and in fact it would be difficult to build one as good out of all the other teams combined. Moving on Dave Cash was typically a 2B for the Pirates but there was a lack of quality options for 3B so his 41 games at the position (fourth most of all eligible players) is enough to move him over as Cutshaw is a far superior alternative to him at second than any of the candidates at third.

    Bench
    C: Francisco Cervelli (2015-Present)
    IF: Pete Coscarart (1942-1946)
    IF: Ronny Cedeno (2009-2011)
    OF: Kiki Cuyler (1921-1927)
    OF: Dave Clark (1992-1996)*

    Notes: As if three Hall of Fame outfielders wasn't enough Cuyler is a 4th one backing them up. Cuyler only misses out on the starting lineup because he split his career between the Pirates and the Cubs but he is still a sensational player who should really be starting. Coscarart and Cedeno aren't exactly the most intimidating reserve infielders but options run really short there and they are the best of the bunch. Neither played much third in their career but will have to learn. Cervelli is our first present day Pirate to make a team but won't be our last. Finally Dave Clark will serve as a seldom used 5th outfielder while also learning to be the backup 1B (he did play the position some in the minors) and serving as the sole left handed bat off the bench.

    Total PA: 44,973 (The 4 HoF outfielders combine for 28,522 of those)
    * Means left handed hitter
    # Means switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Wilbur Cooper (1912-1924)*
    #2: John Candelaria (1975-1985, 1993)*
    #3: Gerrit Cole (2013-Present)
    #4: Howie Camnitz (1904, 1906-1913)
    #5: Francisco Cordova (1996-2000)

    Notes: Cooper is one of the best pitchers in Pirates history and I assumed a Hall of Famer but amazingly the later is not the case. Candelaria, Cole and Cordova add a nice modern tough to the rotation and all three were very good pitchers for the Pirates in their respective times. Cole of course is the second active Pirate to make this team.

    Bullpen
    CL: Matt Capps (2005-2009)
    SU: Jason Christiansen (1995-2000)*
    SU: Pat Clements (1985-1986)*

    P: Jack Chesbro (1899-1902)
    P: Cliff Chambers (1949-1951)*
    P: Don Cardwell (1963-1966)
    P: Steve Cooke (1992-1994, 1996-1997)*

    Notes: I'm sure we all remember Matt Capps he surprisingly ended up the Pirates closer for a few seasons and was quite good at it. Christiansen is probably actually a better releiver than Capps but its close so the edge goes to the one who actually served as a closer. Still he is a strong left hander in the bullpen. Clements time with the Pirates was short but effective. Chesboro nearly won a spot in the rotation and as a Hall of Famer (though mainly for his work with the Yankees) perhaps should of but instead he'll headline a solid group of depth starters.

    Total IP: 11,344.2 (Cooper with 3,199 IP ranks second all time in franchise history in IP)
    * Means left handed pitcher

    Others: The insane talent of the OF let quality guys like Adam Comorosky and Gene Clines on the outside looking in. With nearly 2,500 PA Comorosky is one of the longest tenured Pirates not to make his team. Willie Clark a 1B for the Pirates during the 19th century pushed Dave Clark for a bench spot but I ended up going with the more recent guy. Pete Castiglione nearly made the team by being the sole 3B who had significant time spent with the Pirates but I opted to go with better players who were less experienced at the position. Hal Carson and Charlie Case were the last two cuts from the final group of 4 pitchers. On the relief side Leon Chagnon made an early version of the team but got replaced by Clements who pitched significantly less with the Pirates but was better. Shawn Chacon and even Arquimedes Caminero were others worthy of consideration.

    Overall: Largely thanks to their incredible outfield Team C is another one among the best in these All Time teams. The outfield is the headline of course but the rest of the lineup is very solid and the rotation is also very good. The infield is a bit of a weak spot but the starters are fine. Outside of Cuyler and Cervelli the bench doesn't compare favorable to others and the team is lacking a high end back of the bullpen but still this is overall a very good team.
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  5. #5
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    Team D

    Lineup
    Patsy Donovan, RF (1892-1899)*
    Lefty Davis, LF (1901-1902)*
    Vince DiMaggio, CF (1940-1944)
    Ryan Doumit, 1B (2005-2011) #
    Spud Davis, C (1940-1941, 1944-1945)
    Shawon Dunston, SS (1997)
    Fred Dunlap, 2B (1888-1890)
    Bob Dillinger, 3B (1950-1951)

    Notes: Ryan Doumit presented an interesting challenge for this lineup with his ability to play catcher, 1B and the outfield. For the regular lineup he settles in at 1B due to that being the position with the worst alternatives but in reality he'll bounce around to all three spots. Dunston manages to win the starting shortstop gig despite having just 74 career PA with the Pirates which is more of a knock on his competition than anything else but he was very good in that limited time. Dunlap is the only player to have more than 3 games at 2B so he won by default but is a quality guy. Dillinger was the best option out of an uninspiring group of 3B. THe lineup is a little more early days than I like but the bench balances that out some.

    Bench
    C: Duffy Dyer (1975-1978)
    IF: Adam Debus (1917)
    1B/OF: Vic Davalillo (1971-1973)*
    1B/OF: Mike Diaz (1986-1988)
    OF: Chris Duffy (2005-2007)*

    Notes: Davalillo and Diaz are going to act as a 1B platoon when Doumit is playing other positions. Dyer is a strong defensive catcher from the 70s which may be needed considering the two above him. He'll serve as the backup most days allowing Davis to be used as a PH and Doumit to play elsewhere. Usually I like to have five players on the team with experience at 2B, 3B or SS but my options didn't allow that leaving DeBus as the only reserve infielder though Diaz, who did play 5 games at 3B for the Pirates, will serve as the emergency infielder. Chris Duffy earned the last bench spot due to concerns about the starter's defensive ability.

    Total PA: 14,996 (Donovan, DiMaggio and Doumit combine for 9,282 PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    # Denotes switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Doug Drabek (1987-1992)
    #2: Murry Dickson (1949-1953)
    #3: Jose DeLeon (1983-1986)
    #4: Denny Driscoll (1882-1883)*
    #5: Zach Duke (2005-2010)*

    Notes: This is a solid rotation top to bottom. Drabek is is a quality ace a top the rotation and the rest of the rotation is filled with quality arms that should be able to hold their own against their counterparts in other rotations.

    Bullpen
    CL: Bruce Dal Canton (1967-1970)
    SU: Mark Dewey (1993-1994)
    SU: Octavio Dotel (2010)

    P: Ed Doheny (1901-1903)*
    P: Larry Demery (1974-1977)
    P: Mike Dunne (1987-1989)
    P: Danny Darwin (1996)

    Notes: The Team D has a lack of bullpen options available and the ones they do have tend to have only short track records with the Pirates so the back three is a little weak. The depth pitchers are fine though there are no true stand outs they at least avoid having to put a bad pitcher on the roster which isn't the case for a lot of other teams. I'd have liked a second left hander in the bullpen but unless I wanted to demote a back end starter there weren't any other quality options.

    Total IP: 6,293 (The 3 bullpen arms combine for just 330 IP which is lower than the individual total for 8 of the other 9 pitchers on the staff)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Harry Davis, a 1B in the 1800s, nearly made the team due to his experience at 3B but he seemed too similar to Mike Diaz and didn't really fit the bench makeup. Ike Davis and Mike Donlin were strong candidates for a left handed bat off the bench but in the end I felt the duo of Davalillo and Duffy offered more. Donlin mainly missed out due to a lack of playing time whereas Davis faltered by relying too much on patience. Chase d'Arnaud was the only other legitimate option for the reserve infield role and though I was tempted to put him in over DeBus he just didn't hit at all for the Pirates. There wasn't much else among the relievers but Elmer Dessens and Mike Dyer provided what competition there was. As for the extra pitcher spots Joe Dawson, a right hander from the 20s, made a couple iterations of the team but failed to make the final one and Jeff D'Amico was frequently one of the final cuts.

    Overall: The D team manages to field a fairly decent lineup and a quality rotation despite their relatively limited options but they are missing high end talent and don't have a lot of depth beyond the key players on the squad. They are a team that can't be taken likely but they are certainly among the bottom half of teams in this exercise.
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  6. #6
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    Team E

    Lineup
    Bill Eagan, 2B (1898) ?
    Billy Earle, C (1892-1893)
    Bob Elliott, 3B (1939-1946)
    Mike Easler, LF (1977, 1979-1983)*
    Charlie Eden, CF (1884-1885)*
    Cecil Espy, RF (1991-1992) #
    Brad Eldred, 1B (2005,2007)
    Bones Ely, SS (1896-1901)

    Notes: Elliot and Easler are the stars are the E team and are the big bats in the lineup. Bones Ely isn't much one with the bat but has the reputation of being a good fielder at the shortstop position. Beyond those three though there isn't much here. Eagan was successful in his short run with the team (76 PA) and Earle and Eden weren't terrible.

    Bench
    C: Angelo Encarnacion (1995-1996)
    IF: Jewel Ens (1922-1925)
    IF: Charlie Engle (1930)
    SS: Kevin Elster (1997)
    OF: Stump Edington (1912)*
    IF: Roy Ellam (1918)
    OF: Larry Elliot (1962-1963)*

    Notes: You may notice Team E has more bench players than A-D and that is because they only have 11 pitchers meaning the 25th man gets to be an extra position player. One of the position players also doubles as a pitcher so they get a second extra guys as well. Ellam and Elliot are the two extra players. Kevin Elster is the best player on the bench and will see time backing up the middle infielder.

    Total PA: 11,576 (Easler, Elliott and Ely combine for 9,272)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    # Denotes switch hitter
    ? Denotes unknown handedness

    Rotation
    #1: Dock Ellis (1968-1975, 1979)
    #2: Red Ehret (1892-1894)
    #3: John Ericks (1995-1997)
    #4: Bill Evans (1916-1917, 1919)
    #5: Jack Easton (1894) ?

    Notes: Ellis and Ehret are a solid 1-2 punch atop the rotation but things quickly fall off after them. Ericks isn't awful and Easton was actually quite good albeit in a very minimal sample but Evans was pretty bad.

    Bullpen
    CL: Logan Easley (1987, 1989)
    SU: Eddie Eayrs (1913)*
    SU: Ralph Erickson (1929-1930)*

    P: Duke Esper (1890, 1892)*
    P: Dana Eveland (2010)*
    P: Charlie Eden (1884-1885)*

    Notes: I'm not sure why the bullpen ended up being so left handed heavy but after setting the rotation these were the only other available arms so it is what it is. The back of the bullpen is very poor and the closer is the closer solely because he pitched significantly more than the other two relief options. Charlie Eden is the playing doing double duty serving as the starting center fielder and sixth reliever out of the bullpen.

    Total IP: 2,849.1 (Ellis and Ehret combine for 2,407 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher
    ? Denotes unknown handedness

    Others: There are only 4 players who didn't make the 25 man roster. Aubrey Epps is a catcher who got into 1 game back in 1935 he did go 2 for 4 but that was his only appearance with the Pirates. Truck Eagan got 12 PA back in 1901 getting 1 hit. The final two guys are oddly enough both names Mike Edwards. The first Edwards played back in 1977 where he went 0-6 with a walk. The second Edwards played briefly as a utility guy with the Pirates back in 2006 and pick up 18 PA and is next in line for a roster spot.

    Overall: This is a very bad team in the Pirates Alphabet League. I've done preliminary work on all 21 teams and I don't think any of the remaining teams are this bad and there are only a couple that I think that are even kind of close. Nothing is official yet but when the final rankings come up I expect I'll have this team in last place.
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  7. #7
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    Team F

    Lineup
    Adam Frazier, CF (2016-Present)*
    William Fischer, C (1916-1917)*
    Elbie Fletcher, 1B (1939-1943, 1946-1947)*
    David Freese, 3B (2016-Present)
    Jocko Fields, LF (1887-1889, 1891)
    Doug Frobel, RF (1982-1985)*
    Gene Freese, 2B (1955-1958, 1964-1965)
    Tim Foli, SS (1979-1981, 1985)

    Notes: As you can probably tell from the fact that Adam Frazier is playing center field the F team is lacking for outfielders. On the infield the options are a bit more plentiful headlined by Elbie Fletcher who was a very good 1B for the Pirates during the 1940s. Gene Freese was primarily a 3B with the Pirates but played 93 games at 2B so he is able to handle his new position. There is a bit of versatility here too as Fields can catch if needed, Frazier is of course primarily an infielder and Gene Freese has some OF experience.

    Bench
    C: Hank Foiles (1956-1959)
    1B: Dee Fondy (1957)*
    IF: Tom Foley (1993-1994)*
    OF: Ira Flagstead (1929-1930)
    U: Jack Farmer (1916)

    Notes: Farmer has experience playing all over the diamond and will be utilized in such a role. Flagstead makes the team as a 4th outfielder largely due to a lack of other options. The rest are solid reserves but there isn't a real standout player on the bench.

    Total PA: 11,314 (Fletcher at 3,820 PA accounts for about a third of that)
    * Denotes left handed hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Bob Friend (1951-1965)
    #2: Larry French (1929-1934)*
    #3: Patsy Flaherty (1900, 1904-1905)*
    #4: Earl Francis (1960-1964)
    #5: Josh Fogg (2002-2005)

    Notes: Friend has the most career IP in Pirates history and is firmly in the running for best pitcher in franchise history. Obviously that is a terrific way to start off a rotation and Larry French gives the team a good 1-2 punch. The rest of the rotation lacks a standout but all three are good enough to give the team a chance more often than not.

    Bullpen
    CL: Roy Face (1953, 1955-1968)
    SU: Terry Forster (1977)*
    SU: Neftali Feliz (2016)

    P: Mike Fetters (2001-2002)
    P: Jack Ferry (1910-1913)
    P: Brownie Foreman (1895-1896)*
    P: Woodie Fryman (1966-1967)*

    Notes: Face is the Pirates all time saves leader and one of the best relief pitchers in franchise history. Much like with Friend it is a great way to start a bullpen. Forster and Feliz don't have a lot of time with the Pirates but were both good in their brief time. Fetters I believe is the first relief pitcher we have to make the four extra pitchers group. The other three are all starters and will like the rest serve as long relievers and spot starters.

    Total IP: 8,679.2 (Friend, French and Face account for 6,297.2 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Ed Fitzgerald a catcher from the late 40s/ early 50s pushed Foiles for the backup job but lost out due to a very weak bat. Duke Farrell a 3B from the 1800s with limited OF experience almost bested Flagstead for the 4th OF job but I opted to go with a full time OF due to the nature of the starters. George Freese a 1950s 3B just missed making it 3 Freeses on the team. Felix Fermin pushed Foley for the reserve infield spot. The position player closest to making the team though was Jim Fregosi who just barely lost to Dee Fondy for the backup 1B top pinch hitter job. On the pitching side Kyle Farnsworth lost out due to a lack of innings and Brian Fisher and Fred Fussell provided the competition for the pitcher spots.

    Overall: Fletcher, Face, French and Friend are 4 very good all time Pirates and gives the team a solid core to build around. Problem is it quickly drops off after that group. That isn't to say the team is bad as the rest of the roster has a bunch of solid players on it but the drop off in talent is noticeable and is going to prevent Team F from climbing too high in the final standings.
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  8. #8
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    Team G

    Lineup
    George Grantham, 2B (1925-1931)*
    Sid Gordon, RF (1954-1955)
    Brian Giles, CF (1999-2003)*
    Hank Greenberg, 1B (1947)
    Deb Garms, RF (1940-1941)*
    Phil Garner, 3B (1977-1981)
    Dick Groat, SS (1952, 1955-1962)
    George Gibson, C (1905-1916)

    Notes: This is an interesting lineup as in a lot of cases guys are playing their secondary position instead of their primary one. Grantham spent more time at 1B than 2B, Giles more time in LF than CF, Garms more time at 3B than the OF and Garner more time at 2B than 3B but all have significant experience at the position they are occupying so it should work out. Overall this is a well constructed lineup with Grantham and Gordon being high OBP guys, Giles and Greenburg mashers, Garms and Garner good lineup depth and Groat and Gibson respectable hitters while being great defenders at premium positions.

    Bench
    C: Earl Grace (1932-1935)*
    C: Joe Garagiola (1951-1953)*
    IF: Frankie Gustine (1939-1948)
    IF: Carlos Garcia (1990-1996)
    OF: Al Gionfriddo (1944-1947)*

    Total PA: 30,124 (Only one player has fewer than 500 PA and that is Gordon at 496)
    * Denotes left handed hitter

    Notes: The two catcher look is an odd one when no catcher on the team has experience elsewhere but Garagiola is going to serve as the primary left handed bench bat while also probably learning the OF (at least in an emergency capacity). Gustine's longevity nearly put him in the starting lineup at 3B over Greenberg but I ended up going with Greenberg's big bat so Gustine's infield versatility will be coming off the bench. Garcia gets the nod for the last bench spot over some other deserving candidates due primarily to the relative recency of his playing days.

    Rotation
    #1: Pud Galvin (1885-1889, 1891-1892)
    #2: Burleigh Grimes (1916-1917, 1928-1929, 1934)
    #3: Joe Gibbon (1960-1965, 1969-1970)*
    #4: Whitey Glazner (1920-1923)
    #5: Tom Gorzelanny (2005-2009)*

    Notes: The rotation relies too heavily on arms from the first part of the 20th century or earlier for my liking but it isn't a bad group. Galvin gets the ace nod due to his longevity with the Pirates but really was more of an average pitcher and the rest of the rotation follows suit. Gorzellany makes it into the rotation just to give it a slight modern touch.

    Bullpen
    CL: Rich Gossage (1977)
    SU: Michael Gonzalez (2003-2006)*
    SU: Dave Giusti (1970-1976)
    P: Jason Grilli (2011-2014)
    P: Jim Gott (1987-1989, 1995)
    P: Cecilio Guante (1982-1986)
    P: John Grabow (2003-2009)*

    Notes: I think this is the only bullpen in the league that is a true bullpen in that all 7 pitchers are relief pitchers. The fact Jason Grilli couldn't win one of the three back end jobs should speak to just how deep this group is. Gossage with one year may seem like an odd choice for closer considering the alternatives but he was sensational in that one year. This is probably one of the higher end bullpens in the league and that should help prop up a weaker starting rotation.

    Total IP: 6,516.1 (Galvin leads the way with 2,084.2 more than double anyone else)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Probably the most glaring omission from this group is Jose Guillen. Guillen was an exciting player for the Pirates but never got a chance to realize his potential with the Pirates and despite some outstanding tools didn't perform as well as some of us probably remember. Johnny Gooch was a solid catcher for the Pirates in the 1920s but there was just no room for him. Charlie Grimm racked up over 3,000 PA back in the 20's but was a pure 1B who had an average bat which isn't a good enough profile to crack this team. Jack Glassock was probably the closest to making the team as a shortstop from the 1800s he pushed Garcia for the last bench spot. On the pitching side Al Gerheauser and a pair of 19th century arms (Jim Gardner and Ad Gumbert) pushed Gorzelanny for the 5th spot but lost out due to wanting a recent arm in the rotation. Finally there is one name who we all hope will be able to crack that fairly pedestrian rotation very soon, Tyler Glasnow.

    Overall: This is an overall solid team. The lineup is deep and well constructed with a couple of truly loud bats in the middle of the order. The rotation while not outstanding has five decent pitchers and the bullpen is excellent so the rotation won't be asked to carry a lot of the load. The fairly average rotation likely keeps this team from being a top 5 one but in this odd reality they would surely be one tough team to play against and a tough out in our Alphabet League championship.
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  9. #9
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    Team H

    Lineup
    Johnny Hopp, CF (1948-1950)*
    Joe Harris, 1B (1927-1928)
    Don Hoak, 3B (1959-1962)
    Richie Hebner, RF (1968-1976, 1982-1983)*
    Bill Hinchman, LF (1915-1918, 1920)
    Josh Harrison, SS (2011-Present)
    Dixie Howell, C (1947)
    Lee Handley, 2B (1937-1941, 1944-1946)

    Notes: H is the letter of 3B apparently as the 3B, RF, 2B and SS all have significant time spent at 3B (for all but Harrison, 2B barely edges it out, it is their primary position) but most of them played other positions allowing for some flexibility. Richie Hebner is the best player on the team and a 3B but he is moving off the position to RF where he has some minimal experience in order for the team to field a better line up. Josh Harrison at shortstop I'm sure seems odd but the way the options work out I think it is worth rolling the dice. Johnny Hopp is another playing slightly out of position as he was a 1B and corner outfielder but he did play center on occasion which is better than the other two outfielders.

    Bench
    C: Rollie Hemsley (1928-1931)
    1B/OF: Ham Hyatt (1909-1910, 1912-1914)*
    IF: Jackie Hernandez (1971-1973)
    OF: Bill Howerton (1951-1952)*
    OF: Adam Hyzdu (2000-2003)

    Notes: The bench is a little short on infield talent but Hebner can come in if necessary and Howerton does have some minimal experience at 3B so in an emergency I think it can be covered. Jackie Hernandez is the only true shortstop eligible for the team and is a glove first option should Harrison's defense prove to poor. Hyzdu is the most recent player on the bench and actually was much better than I remembered him being.

    Total PA: 18,322 (The quartet of 3B account for 12,172 PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Pink Hawley (1895-1897)
    #2: Harvey Haddix (1959-1963)*
    #3: Waite Hoyt (1933-1937)
    #4: Carmen Hill (1915-1916, 1918-1919, 1926-1929)
    #5: Earl Hamilton (1918-1923)*

    Notes: Another rotation that leans too heavily to the early days for my liking but it appears solid. Hoyt is a hall of famer but primarily for his time with the Yankees and the most recent pitcher, Haddix, is of course famous for his 12 perfect innings. Hawley obviously comes from a different era as despite pitching only 3 seasons he eclipsed 1,100 innings with the Pirates.

    Bullpen
    CL: Joel Hanrahan (2009-2012)
    SU: Ramon Hernandez (1971-1976)*
    SU: Jared Hughes (2011-Present)

    P: Claude Hendrix (1911-1913)
    P: Bob Harmon (1914-1916, 1918)
    P: Jack Hallet (1942-1943, 1946)
    P: J.A. Happ (2015)*

    Notes: That is a solid back end of the bullpen as Hanrahan was a great closer for the Pirates and Hernandez a strong left hander out of the pen for the Pirates in the 70s. Even Hughes is a solid third relief arm. The extra pitchers much like the rotation lean heavily to the early days though I did include J.A. Happ do to his terrific run and the fact he gives the pen a second lefty. With a full season under his belt he could have challenged for a rotation spot.

    Total IP: 6,772.2 (Happ and Hallet combine for fewer innings than everyone else except Hanrahan)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: The H group is rather large with the 6th most position players and tied for the 4th most pitchers but a higher than normal amount were players with the Pirates for just a brief time. Ned Hanlon (OF) and Jackie Hayes (C) are a pair of 19th century players I considered for bench spots but decided to go with someone a little more modern. Bobby Hill (yes the one from the Ramirez trade) is the next infielder in line for a spot and nearly beat out Howerton for the last bench spot. Charlie Hargreaves is a catcher who caught the same time as Hemsley and put up near identical numbers it was a razor thin call between the two. John Hetki, a reliever from the 50s was the primary challenger to Hughes for the last bullpen spot. Kirby Higbe (from the 40s) and Neal Heaton (from the 1980s) were the ones pushing for the last pitching spot.

    Overall: I would peg this team as a middle of the road team for the Alphabet league. That are a little weak at some positions such as the middle infield and starting rotation but make up for it with a solid back of the bullpen and guys like Hoak and Hebner. The team is a little worse than what their total player pool would indicate but they also have a higher number of short term players than normal so that kind of makes sense. All and all I'd call this about an average team.
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  10. #10
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    Team J

    Lineup
    Woody Jensen, CF (1931-1939)*
    Mark Johnson, 1B (1995-1997)*
    Matt Joyce, LF (2016)*
    Garrett Jones, RF (2009-2013)*
    Jason Jaramillo, C (2009-2011) #
    Cobe Jones, SS (1928-1929) #
    Vic Janowicz, 3B (1953-1954)
    Red Juelich, 2B (1939)

    Notes: The lineup is a too left handed heavy at the top but the right handed options just aren't good enough to hit a top the order so this has to be the layout almost by default. The most prominent player here is probably Garrett Jones which should tell you an awful lot about just how good this team is going to be. Janowicz is formally a catcher but did have a fair amount of experience at 3B so he isn't playing anywhere unusual for him and in fact no one really is.

    Bench
    C: Roy Jarvis (1946-1947)
    1B: Doc Johnston (1915-1916)*
    1B: John Jaso (2016-Present)*
    IF: Spook Jacobs (1956)
    OF: Johnny Jeter (1969-1970)

    Notes: I like for the bench to be more flexible than this but the players weren't really there at any other position so for that reason team J is carrying two reserve 1B on its bench. Jaso who is in our reality getting reps at 3B will do so for this team to be ready just in case an additional infielder is needed. Johnston, Jaso and Jeter does give the team three quality bats off the bench which is a rare positive for this team.

    Total PA: 9,006 (Only Woody Jensen, Garrett Jones, Mark Johnson and Doc Johnston eclipse 500 PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    # Denotes switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Bob Johnson (1971-1973)
    #2: Elmer Jacobs (1916-1918)
    #3: Danny Jackson (1992)*
    #4: Odell Jones (1975, 1977-1978, 1981)
    #5: Al Jackson (1959, 1961)*

    Notes: Danny Jackson is the only member of the rotation who was a full time starter with the Pirates as the rest served in more of a spot starter capacity. The rotation doesn't have a terrible arm in it but lacks any real high end impact as the top 4 arms are number 3/4 starters and the last guy is a 5th starter/long reliever type.

    Bullpen
    CL: Grant Jackson (1977-1982)*
    SU: Barry Jones (1986-1988)
    SU: Steven Jackson (2009-2010)

    P: Joel Johnston (1993-1994)
    P: Henry Jones (1890)
    P: Harry Jordan (1894-1895) ?
    P: Mike Johnston (2004-2005)*

    Notes: Jackson is a solid relief arm in the back of the pen but his set up men are really fungible middle relief types who at best should be in one of the last members of a bullpen. The two Johnstons among the extra 4 pitchers are pure relief arms while the other two were short term starters with the Pirates but neither really pushed for a rotation spot.

    Total IP: 1,773.1 (Bob Johnson, Elmer Jacobs and Grant Jackson are the only three to surpass 200 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher
    ? Denotes unknown handedness

    Others: The most notable other player is Manny Jimenez (1967-1968) who nearly beat out Johnny Jeter for the 4th outfielder spot but despite being a better hitter he would have added yet another lefty to the team and when he reached the Pirates his days playing the field were essentially over (he served as primarily a pinch hitter). Bubber Jonard (C) and Houston Jimenez (IF) competed due to the scarcity of their positions (Jimenez was the only infielder not to make the team). On the pitching side Tim Jones who threw 10 shutout innings in 1977 and Kris Johnson who got hammered over 10.1 innings in 2013 (but looked decent while doing so) were the other arms to receive some consideration.

    Overall: Team J is the one team that prevented from declaring that Team E was definitely the worst in the league and now having taken a closer look at it I do think that Team J may actually be worse. The team does have an array of interesting 1B/OF and the rotation isn't a complete mess but pretty much everything else is a disaster. At the very least Team J is going to rank in the bottom 5 of the rankings and very likely as one of the two worst teams.
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  11. #11
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    Team K

    Lineup
    Jason Kendall, C (1996-2004)
    Chuck Klein, CF (1939)*
    Ralph Kiner, LF (1946-1953)
    Jung-Ho Kang, 3B (2015-Present)
    Jeff King, 2B (1989-1996)
    Ted Kluszewski, 1B (1958-1959)*
    Ed Kirkpatrick, RF (1974-1977)*
    Bill Kuehne, SS (1885-1889)

    Notes: Kendall and Kiner give the K team two great Pirates to build around and they have a solid supporting cast as well. You can arrange Kang and Kuehne as you see fit as both are 3B/SS but obviously from entirely different eras. King was primarily a 3B but spent a fair amount of time at 2B and the options are lacking there so he'll be the regular starter. Kirkpatrick was primarily a 1B but did head out to the pasture on occasion and surprisingly the K team is light on outfielders so he'll be out there permanently so hopefully the glove works out alright. Its a nice lineup with a couple of stars.

    Bench
    C: Clyde Kluttz (1947-1948)
    1B: Ed Konetchy (1914)
    IF: Sam Khalifa (1985-1987)
    OF: Steve Kemp (1985-1986)*
    U: Otto Krueger (1903-1904)

    Notes: Nothing too out of the ordinary here. Kluttz and Khalifa are respectively your typical light hitting strong defensive catcher and shortstop. Konetchy and Kemp will serve as your primary bench bats while backing up 1B and the OF while Krueger has a bit of experience at 2B, 3B, SS and the OF. Overall it is a fairly typical bench with solid role players but no real stand outs.

    Total PA: 20,742 (Kendall and Kiner account for nearly half at 10,015 combined PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Ray Kremer (1924-1933)
    #2: Frank Killen (1894-1898)*
    #3: Bruce Kison (1971-1979)
    #4: Bob Klinger (1938-1943)
    #5: Ron Kline (1952, 1955-1959, 1968-1969)

    Notes: Every member of the rotation spent at least 5 years with the Pirates so it is an experienced group. There is no true ace in the group but all of them all solid middle of the rotation starters or better. It would be nice if the rotation leaned a little bit more modern but it isn't as old school as some as only one pitcher comes from the dead ball era or earlier.

    Bullpen
    CL: Nellie King (1954-1957)
    SU: Bob Kipper (1985-1991)*
    SU: Lou Koupal (1925-1926)

    P: Erv Kantlehner (1914-1915)*
    P: Silver King (1891)
    P: Jeff Karstens (2008-2012)
    P: Chad Kuhl (2016-Present)

    Notes: King and Kipper were solid relievers for the Pirates but neither were really standouts but they aren't a terrible duo at the back of the pen. The other set up man Koupal is basically just a guy who wasn't good but didn't completely embarrass himself. None of the extra pitchers really challenged for a rotation spot as each of them except Karstens were just short term guys but they all performed well in their brief stints. It might have been a tad early to add Kuhl but it was close and I decided earlier on to give modern players a slight advantage.

    Total IP: 9,231.1 (The rotation accounts for 7,124.1 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Joe Kelly and Lee King from the dead ball era were a couple outfielders I considered but they didn't hit that well even for the low offensive environment. John Kelty and Joe Kelley are 19th century outfielders who warranted some consideration but except for the very best I'm trying to stay clear of 19th century guys since the game was so different. Danny Kravitz, Billy Kelly, and Jim Keenan provide a good bit of catcher depth but Kluttz was a step above them. The closest was probably Clem Koshorek, a 1950s infielder, who pushed for the infield bench spot. On the pitching side there was really no challengers for the final set up spot but Brickyard Kennedy and Randy Kramer provided competition for Chad Kuhl for the final pitching spot.

    Overall: Team K has a strong lineup, a good rotation and an average bench but its bullpen and depth pitchers are a little on the weak side. Kiner and Kendall are two very good stars to build a team around and the complimentary pieces they have around them are solid. Its a nice solid above average team but likely not one that will crack the top 5 in the final rankings.
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  12. #12
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    Team L

    Lineup
    Lee Lacy, LF (1979-1984)
    Mike LaValliere, C (1987-1993)*
    Tommy Leach, CF (1900-1912, 1918)
    Dale Long, 1B (1951, 1955-1957)*
    Denny Lyons, 3B (1893-1894, 1896-1897)
    Freddie Lindstrom, RF (1933-1934)
    Jose Lind, 2B (1987-1992)
    Johnny Logan, SS (1961-1963)

    Notes: Leach is probably more well known for being a 3B but he did play a considerable number of games in the outfield so him playing there is easily justified. The rest of the lineup is all playing the positions they are best known for. Shortstop proved hard to fill as even Logan who has the most games played at the position only has 50. Lind and Logan are light hitters but as middle infielders they are fine so the lineup is solid from top to bottom with no real easy outs.

    Bench
    C: Al Lopez (1940-1946)
    1B: Adam LaRoche (2007-2009)*
    IF: Sam LaRocque (1890-1891)
    OF: Kenny Lofton (2002)*
    OF: Jerry Lynch (1954-1956, 1963-1966)*

    Notes: There are too many left handed bats on the bench for my liking but the options for getting a right handed stick on here were scarce. I briefly considered starting one of the outfielders over Lyons with leach moving to 3B but Lyons was too good of a player not to have starting. I would have liked another reserve infielder but the options were not there so Leach will move when needed.

    Total PA: 23,776 (10 of the 13 have at least 1,000 PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Vern Law (1950-1951, 1954-1967)
    #2: Sam Leever (1898-1910)
    #3: Francisco Liriano (2013-2016)*
    #4: Red Lucas (1934-1938)
    #5: Jon Lieber (1994-1998)

    Note: Law and Leever are a good 1-2 punch even if Leever hails from the radically different early days of baseball. Liriano is the most recent and sole left hander in the group and a solid #3. Lucas and Lieber beat out some solid competition to round out the rotation with Lieber getting a bit of a boost for the relative recency of his playing days.

    Bullpen
    CL: Bill Landrum (1989-1991)
    SU: Clem Labine (1960-1961)
    SU: Rich Loiselle (1996-2001)

    P: Lefty Leifield (1905-1912)*
    P: Johnny Lanning (1940-1943, 1945-1946)
    P: Mike Lincoln (2001-2003)
    P: Dick Littlefield (1954-1956)*

    Notes: Landrum is a good closer with two very solid set up men. Loiselle barely edged out Mike Lincoln for the second set up job primarily because he actually served as closer for a while. Of the the extra pitchers Leifield was in a few iterations of the rotation but I choose to leave him out to give the pen an extra left hander. Littlefield made the bullpen largely due to his handedness as I had a few others just barely in over him but felt a left handed arm was needed. As mentioned Lincoln just barely missed out on the second set up spot.

    Total IP: 10,235(Law and Leever combine for 5,332.2 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Matt Lawton pushed Lynch for the final bench spot but in the end missed out due to not having enough time spent with the Pirates. Derrek Lee was the top option for a right handed bench bat but he was lacking PA and I couldn't bring myself to carry three pure 1B on the roster. Andy LaRoche is the next infielder in line but obviously I feel the roster works better with Leach serving as the 5th infielder. Nelson Liriano was considered as a reserve infielder but lacks shortstop experience giving LaRocque the slight edge. On the pitching side Jack Lamabe was one of the extra pitchers but was dropped to add a left hander. Jeff Locke and Javier Lopez were briefly considered due to their handedness but lost out due to performance and lack of innings respectively. Mike Lynch and Esteban Loaiza were also considered.

    Overall: The L team has no glaring weaknesses though they aren't a standout in anyone are either. The lineup and rotation are both very good and their is quality depth as well meaning the team should easily rank among the top half and could even possibly challenge for a top 5 spot in the final rankings.
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  13. #13
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    Team M

    Lineup
    Starling Marte, LF (2012-Present)
    Russell Martin, C (2013-2014)
    Andrew McCutchen, CF (2009-Present)
    Orlando Merced, RF (1990-1996) #
    Bill Madlock, 3B (1979-1985)
    Bill Mazeroski, 2B (1956-1972)
    Dots Miller, 1B (1909-1913)
    Rabbit Maranville, SS (1921-1924)

    Notes: Nothing too abnormal here. Dots Miller is a 1B/2B who takes 1B since Mazeroski is on the team and Merced is a 1B/OF who is going to start in the outfield as that is where is available. I opted to keep Marte and McCutchen at their old positions though you can switch them if you'd like. The lineup is quite modern with two current players in addition to one from just a couple of years ago and three more who played in the 70s or later. I do wish the lineup was a bit more balanced from a handedness perspective but is still really good.

    Bench
    C: Doggie Miller (1884-1893)
    IF: Jordy Mercer (2012-Present)
    IF: Jim Morrison (1982-1987)
    OF: Omar Moreno (1975-1982)*
    OF: Nate McLouth (2005-2009, 2012)*

    Notes: Miller is a versatile catcher with time at other positions though for this team it is difficult to see him playing anywhere else except in an emergency situation. Morrison and McLouth are the bench bats while Mercer and Moreno are on the team more for defensive purposes and in Moreno's case pinch running duties.

    Total PA: 42,709 (Every player except Martin eclipsed the 1,000 PA mark)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    # Denotes switch hitter

    Rotation
    #1: Johnny Morrison (1920-1927)
    #2: Lee Meadows (1923-1929)
    #3: Bob Moose (1967-1976)
    #4: Ed Morris (1885-1889)*
    #5: Paul Maholm (2005-2011)*

    Notes: A good solid rotation from top to bottom. Morrison and Meadows aren't quite in the class of the best arms the Pirates have ever had but they aren't that far behind and form a solid 1-2 punch. Morris is probably the Pirates best starter from before the the 1900s so even with all the changes the game has had that is still a plus. Moose and Maholm add two reliable mid rotation and modern arms to the group.

    Bullpen
    CL: Mark Melancon (2013-2016)
    SU: Damaso Marte (2001, 2006-2008)*
    SU: Al McBean (1961-1968, 1970)

    P: Larry McWilliams (1982-1986)*
    P: Heinie Meine (1929-1934)
    P: Josias Manzanillo (2000-2002)
    P: Evan Meek (2008-2012)

    Notes: It goes without saying Melancon was a terrific closer for the Pirates. Marte was an underappreciated reliever with the Pirates who was more dominant than a lot of us probably think. McBean made 75 starts in his Pirates career but still manages to slide below the 20% threshold for reliever status and is a good solid second set up man. With a variety of choices I opted to fill the 4 extra pitcher spots with two starters and two relievers. McWilliams and Meine are the starters who give the pen some length and the rotation some depth. Meek may seem like an odd choice but he had some great years with the Pirates as did Manzanillo.

    Total IP: 10,781.2 (Morris crosses 2,000 IP and the other 4 SP each have at least 1,100 IP)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Al Martin and Manny Mota challenged Nate McLouth and Omar Moreno for their respective bench spots but Moreno got the nod due to playing time and McLouth because the bats were similar but he also had speed and defense. Nyjer Morgan is another outfielder who was considered but he didn't have enough playing time. Eddie Moore a 2B from the 1920s was the only other infielder to garner consideration though utility player Rob Mackowiak also received some brief infield consideration. Catcher depth is great with the M team as Milt May, Jerry May and Clyde McCullough are all very good options. On the pitching side there was a good assortment of pitchers from the early part of the 20th century including Frank Miller, Al Mamaux and Nick Maddox. More modern options were scarcer with Charlie Morton and Brian Meadows representing the best two.

    Overall: The M team as the largest available pool of pitchers and the 2nd largest pool of position players so it comes as little surprise that this is a very deep and talented team. The lineup may very well be the best in the league while the rotation is just a step behind the best groups. This is likely a top 5 team and is a strong contender for best team in the league.
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  14. #14
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    Team N

    Lineup
    Joe Nealon, 1B (1906-1907)
    Rocky Nelson, LF (1951, 1959-1961)*
    Fred Nicholson, CF (1919-1920)
    Xavier Nady, RF (2006-2008)
    Steve Nicosia, C (1978-1983)
    Abraham Nunez, SS (1997-2004) #
    Yamaico Navarro, 3B (2012)
    Jayson Nix, 2B (2014)

    Notes: Rocky Nelson spent the majority of his time with the Pirates at 1B but he did play a handful of games in the outfield and pickings were slim out there so he is going to trot out to the pasture in a regular role. The top part of the lineup isn't exactly overflowing with talent but things take a turn for the worse in the bottom half as the 5-6 guys are a backup defensive minded catcher and a defensive oriented reserve infielder. The 7-8 spots are filled by recent short term utility infielders. The lineup is at least fairly modern.

    Bench
    C: Cal Neeman (1962)
    IF: Bill Niles (1895) ?
    3B: John Newell (1891)
    OF: Ovid Nicholson (1912)*
    OF: Wayne Nordhagen (1982)

    Notes: Options for the bench were quite slim as evidenced by Nordhagen's inclusion as he made the team despite his Pirates career being all of 4 at bats. The player with the most PA not to make the team had 68 so there were other options but none of them were great. None of the bench guys played shortstop with the Pirates so Navarro is going to have to slide over from 3B when Nunez takes a day off.

    Total PA: 5,911 (Only 6 players reached 100 PA and of those that didn't 5 were below 50)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    # Denotes switch hitter
    ? Denotes unknown handedness

    Rotation
    #1: Denny Neagle (1992-1996)*
    #2: Ivan Nova (2016-Present)
    #3: Jim Nelson (1970-1971)
    #4: Juan Nicasio (2016-Present)
    #5: Jon Niese (2016)*

    Notes: On the plus side this is probably the most modern rotation in the league as 60% of it pitched for the Pirates just last year. On the down side Nova being the number 2 starter despite just two months with the team is a bad sign and Nicasio and Niese weren't exactly great last year. Neagle is the clear ace of the team and a solid pitcher but things quickly drop off after him.

    Bullpen
    CL: Cholly Naranjo (1956)
    SU: Randy Niemann (1982-1983)*
    SU: Chet Nichols (1926-1927)

    P: The Only Nolan (1883)
    P: Steve Nagy (1947)*
    P: Judge Nagle (1911)
    P: Jack Neagle (1883-1884)

    Notes: Going out on a little bit of a limb but if I were to redo this next year Nicasio would likely be the closer as the three back end guys are rather troubling poor. Naranjo gets the closer job because he is the only eligible reliever to have kept his ERA under 5. AMong the spare pitchers Nolan and Neagle were two way players pitching and playing the outfield. Neagle played the field more than Nolan and was in line for a bench spot but was needed more as a pitcher.

    Total IP: 1,747.2 (The two Neagles are the only ones with more IP than Nicasio)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: There is a total of 9 players who didn't make the 25 man roster. Al Niehaus a 1B from the 1920s is the only position player to not make the team who recorded more than two hits with the Pirates. He was on an early edition of the team but a pure 1B just didn't make much sense especially since he wasn't that good. On the pitching side George Nicol was the last one left out and was on some early versions but as a 19th century pitcher with a 6.50 ERA the more modern Steve Nagy seemed like a better choice.

    Overall: I think it goes without saying but the N team is a bad team and will struggle to both score and prevent runs. The team joins Team E and Team J as the likely bottom trio in the final rankings.
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  15. #15
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    Team O

    Lineup
    Danny O’Connell, SS (1950, 1953)
    Tommy O’Brien, LF (1943-1945)
    Al Oliver, CF (1968-1977)*
    Ed Ott, C (1974-1980)*
    Joe Orsulak, RF (1983-1986)*
    Tom O’Brien, 1B (1898, 1900) ?
    Keith Osik, 3B (1996-2002)
    Johnny O'Brien, 2B (1953, 1955-1958)

    Notes: For some reason I associate Al Oliver more with 1B than the OF but he spent about three fourths of his Pirates career out in the pasture mainly in center field so that is the position he'll man here as the star of the team. Keith Osik was of course primarily a backup catcher but the Pirates had him occasionally play other positions and the most frequent of those was 3B and with a shortage of infielders he is going to help out there. Also playing a bit out of position are O'Connell who was a bit more of a 3B than a SS and Tom O'Brien who spent a little more time in the OF than 1B but both are quite familiar with their current positions.

    Bench
    C: Junior Ortiz (1982-1983, 1985-1989)
    1B: Lyle Overbay (2011)*
    2B: John O’Brien (1899)*
    OF: Fred Osborne (1890)*
    U: Eddie O'Brien (1953, 1955-1958)

    Notes: This group is a little too left handed heavy for my liking but with Osik on the team Junior Ortiz can be used more liberally as a pinch hitter if a right hander is required. Eddie O'Brien played a bit of everywhere with the Pirates but couldn't hit worth anything so it is his versatility and his ability to play shortstop that gets him on the team. As you see the last name O'Brien continues to be quite popular for this team.

    Total PA: 14,590 (Oliver and Ott account for nearly half at 7,103 PA)
    * Denotes left handed hitter
    ? Denotes unknown handedness

    Rotation
    #1: Fritz Ostermueller (1944-1948)*
    #2: Marty O'Toole (1911-1914)
    #3: Ross Ohlendorf (2008-2011)
    #4: George O'Donnell (1954)
    #5: Red Oldham (1925-1926)*

    Notes: Ostermueller is a solid pitcher but things quickly take a bad turn after him. O'Toole and Ohlendorf are cast here as mid rotation starters when they really should be function as 5th starters or long relievers. O'Donnell and Oldham on the other hand were spot starers for the Pirates who mainly pitched out of the bullpen so they too are being elevated to a role they are unfamiliar with.

    Bullpen
    CL: Diomedes Olivo (1960, 1962)*
    SU: Franquelis Osoria (2007-2008)
    SU: Bob Osborn (1931)

    P: Billy O'Dell (1966-1967)*
    P: Omar Olivares (2001)
    P: Dave Otto (1993)*
    P: Hank O’Day (1885)

    Notes: Olivio was a very good reliever for the Pirates but after him I quickly run out of good things to say. Osoria is the primary set up man and he was your typical forgettable middle relief arm for the Pirates back in the recent dark days. Osborn wasn't really worse but wasn't better and pitched for a shorter period of time. None of the extra pitchers are that interesting though Hank O'Day also played some OF for the Pirates so he could function as an additional right handed bat off the bench if needed. The group is at least fairly modern as only O'Day and Osborn come from before the 1960s.

    Total IP: 2,561.1 (Ross Ohlendorf ranks third in IP and he more than doubles everyone behind him)
    * Denotes left handed pitcher

    Others: Not a whole lot else left besides the 25 man roster. The most notable players are likely a pair of catchers in Jack O'Connor and Joe Oliver. O'Connor hails from the dead ball era while Oliver is more recent and the subject of an ill fated trade some of you may remember. There is also an additional O'Brien in Ray who failed to make the team who is only really notable do to his last name. On the pitching side Brian O'Connor and Garrett Olson are modern pitchers who performed well over a very small number of innings. There was also Johnny O'Brien and Fred Osborne who pitched over 50 innings each but they made the team as position players though they weren't exactly good pitchers.

    Overall: There are a few nice pieces here but overall the team just doesn't have the depth needed to compete. Team O isn't going to rank at the bottom of the list though it is difficult to imagine them cracking the top half either. It is interesting to see the team rely so heavily on a last name like this team does O'Brien and of course they seem to have an Irish tilt to them. Just an early guess but I'm estimating them at around 15th in the final rankings.
    Follow Me On Twitter: @battling_bucs

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