First Pitch

First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade

First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade

There are two things I feel should be common knowledge by now about relief pitchers.

1. Relief pitchers are very volatile.

2. ERA is a horrible stat to evaluate relievers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had success finding strong relievers at low costs because they've ignored short-term struggles, and have looked past a poor ERA to see potential with advanced metrics. Meanwhile, other teams give out long-term deals to relievers, paying them millions of dollars, and mostly for the ERA.

Eventually other teams are going to get it, but it doesn't look like that has happened yet.

The trade between the Angels and the Pirates looks like the Mark Melancon trade all over again. The Pirates sent Jason Grilli for Ernesto Frieri. They dealt an aging reliever who looks like he's on a rapid ...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribers get access to all of our daily articles on the Pirates and their minor league system, with live coverage throughout the system on a daily basis. Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit.  Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail

First Pitch

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, 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.

More in First Pitch

(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: Burnett Comments on the Pirates Future, Strides They’ve Made Since 2012

Tim WilliamsOctober 9, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: Tonight Shows That We’re Not Ready For Robot Umpires

Tim WilliamsOctober 8, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: NL Wild Card Game Shaping Up Like a Hollywood Movie For the Pirates

Tim WilliamsOctober 7, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: These Pirates Can Win It All

Tim WilliamsOctober 6, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: How to Fix the Current Playoff System

Tim WilliamsOctober 5, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: Neal Huntington Had a Career Year With Value Moves

Tim WilliamsOctober 3, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects