Shelton hardly sweating Pirates’ skeptics

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Hope springs anew here, but outside the city, many have already counted the Pirates out for 2020.

Following a 93-loss season and a last-place finish in 2019, most have the Pirates staying in the cellar in 2020. USA Today predicts they will lose 102 games, which would be their most since 2010. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA standings have them as roughly the same team they were a year ago, going 70-92 with only a 1.4 percent chance of making the postseason.

Those naysayers and projections don't have much effect on Derek Shelton.

"I think, externally, what people think is not as important as what people think in our clubhouse, how we feel and how we feel we're going to be," Shelton said after Friday's workout. "People can say, 'You're going to do this, and you're gonna do that,' but until we get on the field, you don't know."

As Shelton pointed out, he was on the Twins last year, a club that was not very well regarded heading into the regular season but ended up winning 100 games and their division.

He didn't want to compare the two clubs like that, but there is a difference, he added, between what is said in the offseason and what happens in the regular season.

"The game's played by human beings and professional athletes. I think once we get into that, that's going to be the fun part."

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