SI Vault
 
23 Pittsburgh Pirates
Ivan Maisel
April 06, 1987
The last remaining 1979 World Series ring in the Pirate clubhouse is permanently exhibited on the right hand of reliever Don Robinson. He's what's left of the Fam-a-lee. "Yeah," Robby says with a chuckle, "times change. I've gone from contending to last place to rebuilding. Last year we did finish last, but we were a helluva lot better than in '85. The young guys learned a lot."
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 06, 1987

23 Pittsburgh Pirates

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

PLAYER
KEY STATS

P

H

COMMENTS

B. BONDS
.223, 16 HRs, 48 RBIs

CF

L

Papa Bobby's 1968 rookie totals: 81 games, .254 BA, 9 HRs, 35 RBIs.

T. PENA
.288, 10 HRs, 52 RBIs

C

R

Walked a career-high 53 times last season, just about doubling his previous career walk rate.

J. RAY
.301, 7 HRs, 78 RBIs

2B

S

One of three players to top 30 doubles in each of last five seasons.

S. BREAM
.268, 16 HRs, 77 RBIs

1B

L

With 166 assists, eclipsed previous NL mark for first baseman held by, yes, Bill Buckner (161).

J. MORRISON
.274, 23 HRs, 88 RBIs

3B

R

Impressive second half: batted .314, slugged .558 and had 37 extra-base hits.

R.J. REYNOLDS
.269, 48 RBIs, 16 SBs

LF

S

Has hit only one of 16 career homers off a lefthander (Pete Falcone, June 22, 1984).

B. BONILLA
.256 in both leagues

RF

S

Two-league totals indicate better contact righthanded, more power lefthanded.

R. BELLIARD
.233, 31 RBIs, 12 SBs

SS

R

Had 122 at bats without an extra-base hit vs. lefthanded pitchers.

R. REUSCHEL
9-16, 3.96 ERA

SP

R

Allowed 30 first-inning runs (most in NL) in 34 starts last season.

D. DRABEK
7-8, 4.10 ERA

SP

R

Walked only 13 of the 143 leadoff batters he faced last season.

B. KIPPER
6-8, 4.03 ERA

SP

L

0-7, 6.03 ERA in 11 starts vs. teams with winning records.

M. BIELECKI
6-11, 4.66 ERA

SP

R

One of five active pitchers with more career walks than strikeouts (min. 25 starts).

D. ROBINSON
14 SVs, 3.38 ERA

RP

R

3rd in relief appearances among NL pitchers named Robinson (behind Ron and Jeff).

B. FISHER
6 SVs, 4.93 ERA

RP

R

Allowed 14 homers, 2nd most among major league relievers.

The last remaining 1979 World Series ring in the Pirate clubhouse is permanently exhibited on the right hand of reliever Don Robinson. He's what's left of the Fam-a-lee. "Yeah," Robby says with a chuckle, "times change. I've gone from contending to last place to rebuilding. Last year we did finish last, but we were a helluva lot better than in '85. The young guys learned a lot."

The Pirates spent last season learning the answers to such questions as "Am I good enough?" and "Who's the pitcher?" Says centerfielder Barry Bonds, an early season call-up, "We were trying to figure out what their names were, let alone what they threw."

This spring, manager Jim Leyland wasn't just looking for talent, he was refining it, too. "We've got 12 or 14 guys who can pitch, instead of eight," he says. "We're not searching. For instance, I know my first baseman is Sid Bream. It gives us a chance to zero in on things."

Unlike last season, when he constantly shuffled starters, Leyland wants to go with an everyday eight. The only spots open this spring were in left and right, and R.J. Reynolds and Bobby Bonilla won those jobs. One of the also-rans, Mike "Rambo" Diaz, will provide bench strength—he won baseball's arm wrestling tournament this winter.

G.M. Syd Thrift took a lot of heat last year because of his supposedly outrageous demands for Rick Rhoden. But Thrift took the Yankees for a starter of great potential ( Doug Drabek), a bullpen closer for the present (Brian Fisher) and a closer for the future (Logan Easley). Wait 'til a few years down the road.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

1