• First Pitch: Bryan Morris in Triple-A Might Not Be a Bad Idea

    Bryan Morris was optioned to Triple-A today. One day after we learned that Bryan Morris had a fourth option year, the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned Morris to Triple-A. It's coincidental in the way that it played out. Baseball America reported the players with additional option years yesterday. The Pirates and Morris had known...

  • First Pitch: Tarantino-ing the Poor Bench Moves Over the Last Few Years

    If there's one move that the Pirates have made which I've constantly disagreed with, it's their approach with bench players. The Pirates have a horrible habit of giving out bench spots to aging veterans, while passing over their own internal options. I was reminded of this with today's trade. I initially decided to...

  • First Pitch: The 2011 Draft is the Exact Opposite of the 2009 Draft

    In 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of money on prep pitchers in the middle rounds. The hope was that one of those pitchers could one day emerge as a top of the rotation option, which is something the Pirates hadn't seen in their system for a long time. So far...

  • First Pitch: Today’s Cuts Bring Up the Hanrahan Trade Again

    Mark Melancon was one of the main pieces in the Joel Hanrahan trade. The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first round of cuts today at the major league level. Two of the players who were cut were Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimentel, who made up half of the return for Joel Hanrahan over...

  • First Pitch: Phil Irwin a Serious Contender For the Rotation?

    Heading into Spring Training, the 5th starter battle seemed to be a two-man race. There was Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson, with guys like Jonathan Sanchez and Jeanmar Gomez competing, but both having an outside shot of making the team as a starter. So far Locke and McPherson haven't stepped up, and...

  • First Pitch: Some Early Thoughts From Big League Camp

    A lot can happen in the next three and a half weeks to shape up the Opening Day roster. We've only seen a small sample size from each player here, and while some players are standing out, it's important to keep that perspective about the lack of playing time. That said, here...

  • First Pitch: Something, Something, Cliché

    I love cities with a grid system. It makes driving simple. Bradenton doesn't have a true grid system, but it's to the point where I've been here a week, and I'm already to that point where you drive from home to work without really focusing on where to turn or what street...

  • First Pitch: Minor League Camp Officially Begins

    Last year I noticed something about Pirate City. When the major league camp is there, every writer is there. When the major league camp heads over to McKechnie Field, the writers follow, and people rarely come back to Pirate City. Usually it's just me in an empty media room, with a cooler...

  • First Pitch: Those Lefties Are All the Same Frustrating Pitcher

    Let's take a look at four numbers tonight: 4.1 5.0 5.8 6.0 What are those numbers, you ask? They're the career BB/9 ratios of the four left-handers who threw in today's Spring Training game. In order, they go Tony Watson (4.1), Jonathan Sanchez (5.0), Justin Wilson (5.8), and Andrew Oliver (6.0). The...

  • First Pitch: What Are the Expectations For Josh Bell in 2013?

    Josh Bell lost a year last year, and in the process, fell off all of the national top 100 lists. Every Pirates top 10 list that I've seen has Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson ahead of Bell after those two had breakout seasons while Bell was out with his injury. So what...

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