Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chris Duffy Leads 'Surprising' Pittsburgh

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays aren't the only team with an impending name change. By the end of April the Pittsburgh will be called the "Scrappy Pirates." By the end of May they'll be called the "Upstart Pirates," and by June all will regard them as the "Surprising Pirates." Leading the way will be CF Chris Duffy, a 26-year-old rookie who doesn't need to bat .341 again as he did in a brief trial last year. He just has to bat well enough to keep his job, and at .270-.290 that will be plenty considering what will be his resulting year-end totals in bags and runs scored. The Buc's newest leadoff man, Duffy will be moving around the bases courtesty of No. 2 hitter Jack Wilson, then come home on the bat of No. 3 hitter Sean Casey, who easily may be expected to bat better than .300 against both lefties righties. Cleanup hitter Jason Bay, capable of putting up MVP numbers at any time, will be protected by Jeromy Burnitz and should put up plenty of RBI with Duffy's name on them. All will be playing solid defense, a boon to Pirates pitching.

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