Wilbur Miller

  • Analysis
    Our Long National Nightmare Is Over (Reportedly)

    Well, after days of breathless anticipation, countless efforts by the Yankees’ media shills to invent a “mystery team” to ratchet up the pressure on the Pirates, and about a billion updates all saying more or less the same thing, the deal for A.J. Burnett appears to be about done.  The latest reports...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Signing

    According to Baseball America, the Pirates have signed third baseman David Valesente to a minor league contract.  Valensente was a four-year starter at St. Joseph's University, batting over .300 in three of the four seasons, including .369 as a junior.  He wasn't drafted out of school and played for Alpine in the...

  • Analysis
    Hail and Well Met

    Just a short introduction while we're all waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting . . . for something to happen on the A.J. Burnett front.  I'll be posting every couple of days or so with observations on whatever Pirate-related developments seem interesting.  When I manage to get...

  • Analysis
    BA Ranks Pirates’ Farm System 13th

    In its just-published annual Prospect Handbook, Baseball America ranked the Pirates' farm system 13th in baseball, up from 19th a year ago.  The system no doubt was helped by the addition of two high-end talents in the 2011 draft--pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder Josh Bell--as well as by breakout seasons by Starling...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 3 (Lower Levels)

    It’s not easy to project how the Pirates will manage their low level pitching staffs. A lot of factors beyond on-field performance come into play when the team is deciding which pitchers to promote, or how to divvy up the finite number of innings that are available. The team looks at health...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 2 (Upper Level Relievers)

    Justin Wilson is emerging as a power relief option from the left side Bullpens don’t work quite the same way in the minors as they do in the majors. Most teams, including the Pirates, prefer to develop their pitching prospects as starters. The Pirates won’t normally move a pitcher to the bullpen...

  • Transactions
    Report: Pirates Sign Doug Slaten

    According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates have signed left-handed reliever Doug Slaten to a minor league contract.  Terms are not available yet, but it's likely that Slaten will receive a non-roster invitation to spring training.  Slaten, 31, was a 17th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000 and pitched all...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 1 (Upper Level Starters)

    For the last three drafts, the Pirates have focused heavily on pitching, mostly of the high school variety. Combined with a number of trades that brought in pitching prospects, they now have a great deal of pitching depth throughout their farm system. The prospects who project as front-of-the-rotation starters are largely below...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Outfield, Part 2

    The outfield ranks at the lower levels of the Pirates’ system are loaded with very toolsy players who have a ways to go in their development. In most cases, getting better control of the strike zone is the primary mission. The odds are that most of these players won’t develop, but if...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Outfield, Part 1

      Robbie Grossman will be starting at AA Altoona in 2012 Until they signed Josh Bell after the 2011 draft, the Pirates had paid almost no attention to traditional power-hitting, corner outfield prospects under their current front office. Of course, under the previous front office, they paid almost no attention to prospects...

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