Neal Huntington Talks About the Upcoming Outfield Shifts
Feb17

Neal Huntington Talks About the Upcoming Outfield Shifts

Over the weekend I wrote about how the Pittsburgh Pirates are planning on utilizing more outfield shifts in 2014, much in the same way that they went to the extreme with infield shifts during the 2013 season. One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about outfield shifts are the shifts that the Pirates employed a few years ago. They would position the left fielder close to center field, cutting off the Notch. I spoke...

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Stolmy Pimentel Looks Like a Favorite For the Opening Day Roster
Feb17

Stolmy Pimentel Looks Like a Favorite For the Opening Day Roster

As someone who reads Sox Prospects (I partially modeled this site after theirs), I was familiar with Stolmy Pimentel before he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan trade last off-season. He was on the prospect radar early, and was one of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox system for a few years. Then he struggled during the 2012 season, which helped to make him available for the Pirates to acquire last...

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First Pitch: Pirates Starting Entrance Interviews This Week, But What Are They?
Feb17

First Pitch: Pirates Starting Entrance Interviews This Week, But What Are They?

Each year during Spring Training there is a player that exceeds expectations, yet doesn’t win a roster spot. Perhaps it’s a top prospect who gets a shot, looks good in a few appearances, then is sent down to the minors. It could be a non-roster invitee who plays well, but has no chance of beating out the projected starter, even if that starter isn’t having a good Spring. There are often complaints and theories about...

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First Look at Pirates’ Taiwanese Left-Hander Yao-Hsun Yang (Video)
Feb16

First Look at Pirates’ Taiwanese Left-Hander Yao-Hsun Yang (Video)

Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang (pronounced Young) to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. I talked with Yang through a translator yesterday afternoon to learn a bit more about his pitches and his decision to come to the US. “I had been playing in Japan for several years, and right now I want to go for a higher level, so I came here,” Yang said. He had suffered...

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See Why Joely Rodriguez Was Added to the 40-Man Roster (Video)
Feb16

See Why Joely Rodriguez Was Added to the 40-Man Roster (Video)

Joely Rodriguez has some nice stuff for a left-hander. He throws his fastball in the 91-94 MPH range, and hit 96 MPH last year. His changeup has shown some improvements, with late, sharp tailing action. His slider has some good break, and is a weapon to shut down left-handers. Rodriguez has good movement on all of his pitches, as seen in the video. The Pirates added him to the 40-man roster this off-season to protect him from the Rule...

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The Pirates 2014 Focus: Improving the Consistency of the Offense
Feb16

The Pirates 2014 Focus: Improving the Consistency of the Offense

It seems that every Spring Training the last few years has had a theme. Last year the focus was on controlling the running game, which came a season after teams were stealing bases at-will on the Pirates. The year before the focus was the importance of pitching inside. The Pirates did a better job with each improvement, especially with their focus on catching runners last year. Russell Martin was brought in for his defense, and ended...

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