Open it up: Evaluating our staff’s 2016 Pirates Time Capsule Predictions
On April 2nd, we buried our predictions for the 2016 Pirates season in the second installment of our yinzyap Bucco time capsule. Now, on October 3rd with the 2016 regular season (thankfully) behind us, it is time to evaluate our season-long predictions.
Actual: 78. The Pittsburgh Pirates won just 78 games in 2016, which is 20 less than last season, good for the largest decrease in wins of any National League team.
Actual: 3.88. We all expected an incredible season from Gerrit Cole, and we were disappointed. His season was plagued by injuries and he ended it on the 60-day DL, but even when he was healthy enough to pitch his starts did not meet the high bar we set for him.
Actual: 7. We all predicted a full season’s worth of pitching from Cole, something that simply did not happen. He made just 21 starts in his 2016 campaign.
Actual: Arrieta won 18 games this season. Dakota felt this was an easy, no-brainer prediction, but Mitch and Joe disagreed. It should be noted that neither of their predictions for Cole wins (Mitch 15 and Joe 16) would have been enough to beat Arrieta’s 18.
Actual: 8. Jaso’s hot bat at the end of the season brought his season total to Dakota’s prediction of eight with a homer in the last game of the season.
Actual: 21. Even though his season was shortened due to injury and lackluster play in the wake of a sexual assault investigation, Kang outperformed all three predictions.
Actual: He sure did. On June 11th, the Pirates placed their catcher on the 15-day DL with a broken hamate bone in his left hand.
Actual: Juan Nicasio. Nicasio earned many of his wins after making the move from the rotation to the bullpen, but that does not change the reality of him winning the team’s pitching race. It is worth noting that Jeff Locke was second with nine wins, and Jon Niese was third with eight.
Actual: LOL. 4.91. Niese was horrific during his time in Pittsburgh before being traded back to the Mets for Antonio Bastardo on August 1st.
Actual: 1. Before he was traded to Toronto on August 1st, Liriano hit a single dinger in Pittsburgh.
Actual: LOL. 5.44. Locke was horrendous for almost every appearance in 2016, and if he makes an return in 2017 it is likely that PNC Park will be burned down.
Actual: Under, 5. Morse played just a single game in the field and did not record an error, Jaso played in 108 games and had just five errors. Pedro Alvarez had 23 errors in 124 games in 2015.
Mitch: 2 (one in the 2016 NL Wild Card)
Actual: 0. Feel free to laugh out loud at Mitch’s prediction.
Actual: 24. In a down year for McCutchen, he was still able to come within two homers of Joe’s prediction thanks to strong plate appearances late in the season.
Actual: 4.81. Vogelsong started the season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation, but regardless of circumstances Mitch was pretty spot-on with his prediction of 4.85.
Actual: No. Melancon’s record 51 saves in 2016 could not be broken entirely in black and gold this season because of his trade to Washington, but adding together his 30 in Pittsburgh and his 17 with the Nationals still doesn’t meet his 2015 performance.
Actual: Yes. The Pirates signed Ivan Nova and Drew Hutchison on Deadline Day, August 1st. Nova was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in his 11 Pittsburgh starts.
Dakota: Yes, Cubs win more
Mitch: No, Pirates win more
Joe: Yes, Cubs win more
Actual: Heck yes. The Pirates were 4-14 against Chicago in 2016, good for a paltry .222 win percentage.
Actual: Polanco. We were all off here. Marte did not even break double digits with his 9 homers, far less than El Coffee’s 22.
Actual: 0. Watson was never tossed this season, so you’ll have to settle for a video of Uncle Ray getting the boot instead.
Actual: Taillon. Glasnow did not record a win in his four starts with the big league team, while Taillon went 5-4 in 18 starts.
Actual: 5. We all undershot what was a frustrating and confusing season for Clint Hurdle
Actual: Sorry, no. Joe and Mitch were right, but they surely were not predicting that the Bucs would finish 25 games out of first in the NL Central and a staggering 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.