First Pitch: Revisiting the Wandy Rodriguez Trade
May24

First Pitch: Revisiting the Wandy Rodriguez Trade

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment. Coincidentally, one day later, Rudy Owens made his Major League debut for the Houston Astros. Owens didn’t fare well, giving up five runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work. But the end of Rodriguez’s tenure in Pittsburgh, and the debut of Owens give us a good chance to revisit the July 2012 trade. The Pirates sent Owens, Robbie Grossman, and...

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First Pitch: Thoughts on Wandy, Cumpton, Josh Wall, Tyler Glasnow, 2014 Draft
May23

First Pitch: Thoughts on Wandy, Cumpton, Josh Wall, Tyler Glasnow, 2014 Draft

The big news today was that the Pittsburgh Pirates¬†designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment. That was a move I called for last night, along with several times over the last few weeks as Rodriguez was coming back from his injury. Rodriguez just didn’t look like he had it this year. The results were poor, the velocity was down, and there was nothing suggesting he would bounce back to anything that would make him worth holding on...

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First Pitch: It’s Time to Replace Wandy Rodriguez With Brandon Cumpton
May22

First Pitch: It’s Time to Replace Wandy Rodriguez With Brandon Cumpton

On a personal note, I’ve had a string of migraine/tension headaches for almost two weeks straight. This is something I’ve dealt with my entire life, and I’ve never gotten an answer from doctors as to why it happens. Some of you might know this, especially the kind people who have shared their similar stories and helpful tips on Twitter in the past (those are always appreciated).¬†Overall, this problem kind of sucks,...

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First Pitch: How Long Can the Pirates Give Edinson Volquez?
May21

First Pitch: How Long Can the Pirates Give Edinson Volquez?

Edinson Volquez had an amazing start to the 2014 season. Through his first five appearances (four starts), he had a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings, with a 20:8 K/BB ratio. The numbers said that he would regress and see a decline going forward, but not to the extreme he saw. In his four starts since that great debut, Volquez has combined for an 8.31 ERA in 21.2 innings, with a 12:8 K/BB ratio. A few weeks ago, Nate Barnes wrote about Volquez,...

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First Pitch: Super Two Unfair For Gregory Polanco; MLB Unfair For the Pirates
May20

First Pitch: Super Two Unfair For Gregory Polanco; MLB Unfair For the Pirates

I’m not sure if I can recall a player who has been anticipated as much as Gregory Polanco, at least for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I also don’t know if I can recall a Super Two debate as big as the one currently taking place with Polanco. Then again, I didn’t cover guys like Wil Myers (June 18th debut), Mike Trout (July 8th debut), Stephen Strasburg (June 8th debut), or other impact prospects over the last few years who...

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First Pitch: Shifting Has Become Very Common in Baseball
May18

First Pitch: Shifting Has Become Very Common in Baseball

Earlier today, I was sent a link from Twitter follower Jonathan Holbert, talking about how baseball’s defensive shifts continue to grow. I thought the article was an interesting read for multiple reasons. First, as you know, we’ve been tracking the Pirates’ usage of defensive shifts a lot on this site. So that’s always a topic I’m watching for. It seems that other teams took notice to the success the...

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