Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up call: Pressure on new Pirates

In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

The new Pittsburgh Pirates in camp are all likely facing a bit of undue pressure.

Perhaps that’s expected of any player, regardless of stature or tenure. But for Corey Dickerson, Colin Moran, Kyle Crick, Michael Feliz and Joe Musgrove, there may be an added layer of pressure. Of that quintet, who will feel the most pressure to perform?

Dickerson should feel the least pressure of this group. Though he broke through with his first All Star berth last season, Dickerson is a career .282 hitter who also carries an .829 career OPS mark. With 563 games under his belt, Dickerson knows how to go out and produce regardless of the circumstances he finds himself in.

With 98 big league appearances to his name, Feliz should find himself in a similar headspace to Dickerson, albeit to a lesser degree. Feliz has shown a remarkable ability to miss bats, and as long as that ability remains, the only pressure he will feel is that which every late inning reliever feels. On the other hand, pressure may surround Moran a bit more. He will he be expected to fill the Pittsburgh Pirates’ void at third base, and he will have to do it while simultaneously plodding through his (presumable) first full big league season.

To the layman, Crick might feel the heat as he was the lone major league piece coming back in the Andrew McCutchen trade. We know that professional athletes are usually very rigid in letting fan expectations creep into their mental states, but it would be naive to think that Crick hasn’t thought about how he may be received should he struggle at times.

To me, Musgrove faces the most pressure to perform among the new Pittsburgh Pirates. For this team to have any deigns on competing — or at the very least not taking a step backward — it will do so on the backs of its pitching. Musgrove has the inside track to the last spot in the starting rotation, and will need to show that he can stick as a starter. The team has a glut of bullpen options, and while Musgrove did show well as a reliever, his value is ultimately tied to his starting performance.

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Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)