How Bad is the Offense?

It’s been a well-known fact since a few weeks after the season began that the Pirates’ offense would be horrible.  Their only true offensive threat coming in to the season was Andrew McCutchen, who struggled for the first few weeks.  Pedro Alvarez struggled, then excelled, and is now averaging out.  Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes, and Alex Presley have all been disappointing.

But the question is, how bad is the offense?  There’s no easy way to say this, but the Pirates offense sucks and will continue to suck.  Statistically, they simply solidify fans’ observations.  Let’s take a look at those statistics right now.

The Buccos have scored 2.92 runs per game, on average.  Not only is that 1.5 runs lower than the MLB average, it is .29 runs lower than the team with the next lowest run production.  The average runs/game is even lower than the anemic offense of the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates, who scored 3.77 runs per game — the difference of .85 is incredible.  Could the Pirates’ problem be caused by a lack of being on base?

If the difference on the graph looks huge, it’s because it is huge.  The Pirates have an on base percentage of .273 — that is 4.5% less than  the MLB average of .318.  It’s even less .036 less than the 2011 Pirates .309 OBA.  Could the cause of the shittacular offense be due to luck?

The Pirates have been unlucky this season – their BABIP is .264, which is .027 less than MLB average.  If the Pirates can get their BABIP up to league average, chances are that their offense will drastically improve. The lowest BABIP in 2012’s MLB has been the Oakland Athletics, who seem to be doing pretty well, despite being nearly no-hit Saturday.

Not only havs the Pirates’ runs per game statistic, on base percentage statistic, and batting average on balls in play statistics been low, the Pirates have also walked less (6.2% – league average 8.4%), struck out more (23% – league average 19.3%), stolen less bases (18 – league average 25), and hit the ball in the gap less (.349 SLG – league average .397).  If the Pirates want to be taken seriously, then they better improve their offense, and fast, before June starts and everybody else heats up.  The team is becoming a team full of Adam LaRoches — being slow for the first two months of the season, then heating up in June and July, when every other batter heats up.

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