Pirates Notebook: State College Spikes

Don’t look now, but the State College Spikes are 10-10.

That may not seem like much, but it’s an amazing feat, considering they only won 10 games in all of 2008. That’s not accurate, but the sad thing is, it’s not too far from the truth.

Last year State College was atrocious, going 18-56. The bulk of their problems were due to the pitching staff, which combined for a 5.40 ERA. I’m assuming the bulk of those problems would be due to the excessive amount of fastballs thrown, as something like 90 percent of pitches were fastballs.

10-10 isn’t anything spectacular, but going from 18-56 to 10-10 is a big leap. How did State College make this leap? That’s what I aim to find out.

I’ve done some research on the 2008 and 2009 rosters, and in the next day or two I’m going to analyze what happened between the horrible 2008 team, and the .500 level 2009 team. Check back tomorrow for the first part of my State College breakdown.

The MVP Tracker

The MVP Tracker is updated through the 7/7 win. Here are the big impacts from the 7/8 loss:

1. Charlie Morton: -.220 WPA
2. Robinzon Diaz: -.062
3. Andrew McCutchen: -.057
4. Delwyn Young: -.040
5. Jack Wilson: -.037

Other Stuff

-The Pirates sent Steven Jackson and Steve Pearce to AAA, and activated Donald Veal off of the disabled list. Another move will be announced Friday. I think it will be Ryan Doumit returning, as it makes little sense to bring someone up with Doumit set to return next week. Brian at Raise the Jolly Roger has his speculations here.

-The Prospect Watch for 7/8 is up.

-Speaking of prospects, Jim at North Side Notch is doing a new top 10 prospects list for the Pirates, profiling a new guy each day. He starts off with #10, Daniel McCutchen.

-On that note, I’ll be planning three posts over the All-Star Break:

1. Season in review (so far). This will be some analysis of the direction the team is headed, plus a look back at the expectations from the start of the year.
2. An updated top prospects list
3. 17 Things to Watch For Over the Remainder of the Season (17, because it will likely be year 17 of losing, and these things to watch for are meant to find the silver lining).

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 7/8/09

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