Analysis: Teams Should Shift Their Infield More Against Garrett Jones

The Pirates did not need much help to hit into outs over the first week of the season, they were doing a good job all by themselves. Cubs manager Dale Sveum decided to make life a little more difficult for one of the Bucs’ best hitters, Garrett Jones. On Opening Day, Sveum shifted his infield to have three of his infielders on the right side. Jones hit into the shift in his first three at-bats, only reaching on a first-inning...

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Jonathan Sanchez Shelled As Pirates Lose Sweep Attempt 10-2

When baseball games that count are played in early April, most of the conclusions people draw are based around confirmation bias. These first nine games are no more significant than the nine games that will happen May 8-16 or June 15-23 or whenever. But conclusions are drawn at this point anyway, because all the stats that show up on the TV screen and scoreboard rely solely on these nine games and because we have not seen these...

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Pirates Notebook: Platooning Alvarez? Hurdle Says “No Way”

It was a great privilege to cover the Pirates this past weekend at Dodger Stadium. The team’s offense still has to make some drastic improvements to consistently score runs, and before I left Chavez Ravine, I asked some of the players and coaches how that will happen. No Platoon for Pedro Any Time Soon It is Clint Hurdle’s decision whether Pedro Alvarez will platoon in the ¬†immediate future, but the manager made it clear...

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Pirates Win 5-3, Wandy Rodriguez Suffers Hamstring Tightness

The Pirates finally got a few runs to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. Andrew McCutchen and Travis Snider both drove in two runs to break Pittsburgh’s four-game losing skid Monday night. The good news of a victory was mitigated, though, by the third-inning exit of Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez. The left-hander felt tightness in his left hamstring and was removed from the game after doing some stretches and trying to get...

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McCutchen Homer Only Respite as L.A. Completes Sweep 6-2

Don’t let the sunshine and the mountain views fool you. Dodger Stadium continues to be a ravine of terror for the Pirates, but Sunday provided a fresh face to engineer the 6-2 Los Angeles victory and a weekend sweep. Adrian Gonzalez started to earn the $127 million he will collect the next six seasons after arriving from Boston last August. The first baseman went 3-for-4 with four RBI to complete his destruction of Pirates...

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