Courtesy of Fortify Franchising

Stats ‘N’ At: Catcher quandary, Steelers’ rookies, Geno’s shot ☕


The 2019 Pirates feature a stars-and-scrubs lineup, with Josh Bell and a surprisingly effective smorgasbord of outfielders trying to compensate for a total lack of production at other positions. It's not a total shock to see the Pirates getting little from the left side of the infield, as they wait for Ke'Bryan Hayes to arrive and for Cole Tucker to actually be MLB-ready. But the catcher spot -- which was a huge competitive advantage for the club last year and figured to be so again in 2019 -- has quickly turned into a black hole.

Francisco Cervelli, once again sidelined by concussion-like symptoms, and Elias Diaz, slowed this spring by a virus, have been one of the worst catching tandems in the game this year after combining for one of the franchise's best seasons behind the plate in 2018. Just how bad have the Pirates been at catcher this year? Why are they struggling so much? And, most important, will the Pirates get better production at catcher as they hold on for dear life in the NL Central and Wild Card races?

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