First Pitch: Here is Why Projection Systems Will Be Low on the Pirates For the 2015 Season
Jan30

First Pitch: Here is Why Projection Systems Will Be Low on the Pirates For the 2015 Season

Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus released their PECOTA projections, and the results weren’t favorable for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They had an 80-82 projected record, finishing third in the NL Central, behind the Cardinals and the Cubs. That projected record has actually changed today, moving to 81-81 after the Travis Snider trade (and the Pirates improving in projections after trading Snider away is a totally different subject...

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First Pitch: Where Would Stephen Tarpley Have Ranked in the Pirates 2015 Top 50?
Jan29

First Pitch: Where Would Stephen Tarpley Have Ranked in the Pirates 2015 Top 50?

The first year I released the Prospect Guide, I decided to publish the book in late January. The thing about writing a book on prospects is that the transactions involving those prospects are a never-ending process. Whether it’s my book, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, or any other team book, there’s always a risk that a player will be traded away after the publishing deadline, or a new player will be added to the...

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First Pitch: Did the Pirates Make a Mistake Trading Snider, Or Are They Selling High?
Jan28

First Pitch: Did the Pirates Make a Mistake Trading Snider, Or Are They Selling High?

I found myself going back and forth between two thoughts when thinking about the Travis Snider trade this evening. The first thought involved thinking about the possibility that Snider could be the next Brandon Moss. The Pirates got Moss in the Jason Bay deal, hoping that his power potential would translate over to the majors. It never did, although he did have a huge season with Indianapolis in 2010, with an .800 OPS and 22 homers...

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First Pitch: How the Pitch Clock Could Affect Rehab Assignments and Other Scenarios
Jan27

First Pitch: How the Pitch Clock Could Affect Rehab Assignments and Other Scenarios

With the proposal of testing the pitch clock in Minor League Baseball this season, several issues come to mind. After the use in the Arizona Fall League, the clocks met mixed reviews across the board. Those mixed opinions will certainly continue, as the clock will likely be implemented in Double-A and Triple-A parks this season. Though the everyday Minor League pitchers will have a tough first month or so adjusting to it, one major...

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First Pitch: MLB’s Biggest Problem Has Nothing to Do With Pitch Clocks or Defensive Shifts
Jan26

First Pitch: MLB’s Biggest Problem Has Nothing to Do With Pitch Clocks or Defensive Shifts

Major League Baseball has a problem. That problem has nothing to do with the pace of the game or the length of the game. It has nothing to do with defensive shifts or a lack of offense. The problem isn’t a lack of short-term interest. We’re coming out of a season where baseball just recorded their seventh biggest attendance season of all time, all while making billions of dollars in local and national TV deals that the...

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First Pitch: Are the Pirates Starting to Become a Model Organization in Baseball?
Jan23

First Pitch: Are the Pirates Starting to Become a Model Organization in Baseball?

A few years ago, you were in the minority if you said the Pittsburgh Pirates were well-run and heading in the right direction. They were spending a lot of money to build up their farm system, and they were showing early signs of making smart moves on the trade and free agent markets. But they hadn’t won yet, and there were questions about whether they could take that next step and become a contender. Now you’re in the...

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