First Pitch: Forget MVP; McCutchen, Martin, and Harrison are the MV3
Sep23

First Pitch: Forget MVP; McCutchen, Martin, and Harrison are the MV3

There has been some debate this year about who should be the MVP of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Do you go with the reigning MVP, and the leader in WAR, Andrew McCutchen? How about Russell Martin, who is right up there in WAR, and provides a ton of value with his game calling, pitch framing, and defense behind the plate? Or there’s Josh Harrison, who has been a huge surprise this year, and has filled in everywhere the Pirates needed...

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First Pitch: Pittsburgh Has Become a Prime Destination For Bounce Back Pitchers
Sep22

First Pitch: Pittsburgh Has Become a Prime Destination For Bounce Back Pitchers

On Saturday night, Edinson Volquez pitched a gem, throwing seven shutout innings with three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. That lowered his season ERA to 3.15 in 185.2 innings. Today, Vance Worley threw eight shutout innings, giving up four hits, no walks and striking out five. His ERA was lowered to 2.93 in 104.1 innings. The recent success, combined with the season-long success raises a simple question: Why should the...

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First Pitch: Will Pedro Alvarez Have Any Trade Value This Off-Season?
Sep21

First Pitch: Will Pedro Alvarez Have Any Trade Value This Off-Season?

It’s safe to say that Pedro Alvarez’s stock in Pittsburgh is down, at least among Pirates fans. That may even be true for the organization as well. Alvarez has struggled this year at third base, leading to a move across the diamond to first. He has also seen a drop in his power numbers, which led to Josh Harrison and Ike Davis getting playing time over him. Despite the struggles, could Alvarez have some trade value to...

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First Pitch: Thoughts on Russell Martin For MVP, and the Wild Card Game at PNC
Sep20

First Pitch: Thoughts on Russell Martin For MVP, and the Wild Card Game at PNC

I’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks working on the stuff you don’t see on the site. Specifically I’ve been preparing for all of the arrangements for the upcoming playoff coverage, along with getting the 2015 Prospect Guide set up. As I discovered last year, when the team you cover makes the playoffs, it can eliminate about a third of the time you have to work on the book. With instructs starting this week, I...

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First Pitch: Remembering When Win 82 Mattered, and the New Expectations
Sep19

First Pitch: Remembering When Win 82 Mattered, and the New Expectations

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ losing streak featured a lot of desperation from Pirates fans. At times, it felt like the Pirates would never have a winning season again. For so long, fans were convinced that the only way the Pirates could have a winning season would be if everything went right, and the NL Central was weak. Every player had to have a career year. Every prospect had to be in the majors, and working out. Every off-season...

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First Pitch: Aside From Francisco Liriano, Who Should Be in the Pirates’ Playoff Rotation?
Sep18

First Pitch: Aside From Francisco Liriano, Who Should Be in the Pirates’ Playoff Rotation?

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t clinched anything yet. But it’s becoming quite clear that this team is going to the playoffs. They currently sit 2.5 games back in the NL Central, 2.5 games back from the first Wild Card spot, and 2.5 games in the lead for the second Wild Card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers are the only threat to their playoff chances, and the red-hot Pirates play Milwaukee at home this weekend. They follow that...

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