First Pitch: How Russell Martin Went From a Perceived Bad Signing to a Must-Sign Player
Sep12

First Pitch: How Russell Martin Went From a Perceived Bad Signing to a Must-Sign Player

There was a lot of talk about Russell Martin today, including an article from our own Ryan Palencer, who talked with some of the Pirates’ pitchers last week about their catcher. I thought it was an interesting article, because you always hear the general compliments about Martin from the pitchers, but this went a little deeper into how exactly Martin helps his pitchers. Of course, any article this time of year about Martin is...

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First Pitch: Has Pedro Alvarez Played His Last Game With the Pirates?
Sep11

First Pitch: Has Pedro Alvarez Played His Last Game With the Pirates?

Today it was announced that Pedro Alvarez would be out 4-6 weeks with a foot injury. That pretty much ends his season, and unless the Pirates make it deep in the post-season, it means he’s probably done for the year. Then there’s the other situation involving Alvarez, where he is now finished with one of the worst years of his career, which featured a drop in power, and some horrible defense at third base that led to an...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Once Had a Good Bullpen; How Can They Get Back?
Sep10

First Pitch: The Pirates Once Had a Good Bullpen; How Can They Get Back?

The other day I was going back and looking at a few articles that I wrote from the start of the season, when I ran across this title: The Pirates are Returning a Bullpen That Was One of the Best in Baseball At the time it was true. The bullpen was great last year, and the Pirates were returning the same bullpen this year. But five months after that article was written, it’s clear that the emphasis in that sentence should now be...

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First Pitch: Should the Pirates Continue Going With Reclamation Starting Pitchers?
Sep09

First Pitch: Should the Pirates Continue Going With Reclamation Starting Pitchers?

This past off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates made what seemed like a risky decision to go with Edinson Volquez and pass up on A.J. Burnett. Despite the fact that they revived the careers of Burnett and Francisco Liriano the previous two seasons, Pirates fans didn’t trust them to turn Volquez around, and instead wanted the “guaranteed production” that Burnett would bring to the table, based on his track record. I am...

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First Pitch: Are the Pirates Limited to the Second Wild Card Spot?
Sep08

First Pitch: Are the Pirates Limited to the Second Wild Card Spot?

The Pittsburgh Pirates won today, putting them half a game up for the second Wild Card spot. Earlier this week I wrote about how the Pirates aren’t out of the playoffs, although they’re probably confined to the second Wild Card spot, and not in a good position to make a long run. In the playoff odds series, I looked at how they were still in this, thanks to a weak second Wild Card race. They are now leading that race. So...

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First Pitch: How Much Did the Pirates’ Payroll Increase in 2014?
Sep07

First Pitch: How Much Did the Pirates’ Payroll Increase in 2014?

Today I updated the 2014 40-man roster and payroll page, adding all of the moves from the September call-ups. Typically, these are the final moves that need to be added to get a payroll estimate for the year. There’s a chance that the Pirates could call up more players, or acquire help for the stretch in September via a waiver claim, but that wouldn’t lead to a massive increase. When it comes to a payroll range for the...

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