PITTSBURGH - The defensive shifts that the Pirates have employed for several years came under fire in the opening games of the season. Gerrit Cole gave up a bunt single to Sandy Leon on Opening Day in Boston, with Leon executing a perfect bunt down the third base line with the shift in progress.
It was that bunt -- not Cole misplaying the ball, or the single that followed that, or the 2-2 pitch left over the middle that went for a three run homer to Andrew Benintendi -- which led to the five run inning for Cole. The Pirates' starter did display frustration after the play, leading to a narrative that this threw him off his game and questioning the shifts, despite the fact that the shift robbed a hit in that same inning.
Most of today's weekly media session with Pirates' General Manage...
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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.