Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview and Tickets

The Pittsburgh Pirates want to improve on a 2022 season that saw them finish with 100 losses and tied for last in the National League Central. They were a massive 31 games behind the division-winning St. Louis Cardinals and 25 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, so their initial goal should be to get enough wins in 2023 to beat the Cincinnati Reds and not finish in the cellar.

The Pirates start the season on the road before returning to PNC Park for their home-opening three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, April 7. The Pirates have three more series in Pittsburgh in April, taking on the World Series-winning Houston Astros, the Reds, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of 111 games last season It is far from an easy start to the year.

Here are three questions for the Pirates ahead of the 2023 season.

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Three Key Questions

How quickly does this team improve?

There are two types of teams that hit 100 losses in a season. The first is a squad full of aging veterans that all get old at once and has an ownership/management structure that doesn’t do anything about it until too late. The second is a young team in a rebuild, one that is added to with savvy trade and free agent pickups that fit within a budget, but that grow together to be relevant in the future. This Pirates team trends towards the latter – it is stockpiled with young talent – but is it still a year early for them?

Will bringing back Andrew McCutchen pay off?

It is weird to think that of Andrew McCutchen’s nine years in Pittsburgh, six of them saw the Pirates finish with a losing record. The flip side of that is that for the other three years, they were among the very best teams in the National League. What McCutchen – now 36 and with a 4.8 WAR over the last five years – brings to this franchise is much more than his bat. He will improve a right field spot that was a black hole of a slash line in 2022, but his presence and his personality will make this locker room a better place to be.

When does Endy Rodriguez get the call?

We are using Endy Rodriguez as a catch-all for the Pirates minor league system here as it is full of prospects. Rodriguez is one of the most interesting of the bunch, a catcher that tore it up in Double-A ball last year. He won’t be rushed – at the start of the season he will have played less than 40 games above Single-A – but when he does come through he will be a difference-maker.

Upcoming Pirates Home Games (Before the All-Star Break)

Fri, April 7 – Chicago White Sox

Sat, April 8 – Chicago White Sox

Sun, April 9 – Chicago White Sox

Mon, April 10 – Houston Astros

Tue, April 11 – Houston Astros

Wed, April 12 – Houston Astros

Thu, April 20 – Cincinnati Reds

Fri, April 21 – Cincinnati Reds

Sat, April 22 – Cincinnati Reds

Sun, April 23 – Cincinnati Reds

Tue, April 25 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Wed, April 26 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Thu, April 27 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Fri, May 5 – Toronto Blue Jays

Sat, May 6 -Toronto Blue Jays

Sun, May 7 – Toronto Blue Jays

Mon, May 8 – Colorado Rockies

Tue, May 9 – Colorado Rockies

Wed, May 10 – Colorado Rockies

Fri, May 19 – Arizona Diamondbacks

Sat, May 20 – Arizona Diamondbacks

Sun, May 21 – Arizona Diamondbacks

Mon, May 22 – Texas Rangers

Tue, May 23 – Texas Rangers

Wed, May 24 – Texas Rangers

Fri, June 2 – St. Louis Cardinals

Sat, June 3 – St. Louis Cardinals

Sun, June 4 – St. Louis Cardinals

Mon, June 5 – Oakland Athletics

Tue, June 6 – Oakland Athletics

Wed, June 7 – Oakland Athletics

Fri, June 9 – New York Mets

Sat, June 10 – New York Mets

Sun, June 11 – New York Mets

Mon, June 19 – Chicago Cubs

Tue, June 20 – Chicago Cubs

Wed, June 21 – Chicago Cubs

Tue, June 27 – San Diego Padres

Wed, June 28 – San Diego Padres

Thu, June 29 – San Diego Padres

Fri, June 30 – Milwaukee Brewers

Sat, July 1 – Milwaukee Brewers

Sun, July 2 – Milwaukee Brewers

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