First Pitch: Is It a Guarantee That Russell Martin Will Be Gone After the Season?
Sep25

First Pitch: Is It a Guarantee That Russell Martin Will Be Gone After the Season?

Pittsburgh Pirates fans have been expecting Russell Martin to be gone at the end of the year. The catcher is having a career year at the plate, and over the last two years the appreciation for catcher defense has gone way up across the league, increasing his value. Complicating the matters further is the fact that the Pirates balked at giving A.J. Burnett more than $12 M last year, stating they didn’t want to exceed a certain...

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First Pitch: Pirates Fans Deserve a Long Buctober
Sep24

First Pitch: Pirates Fans Deserve a Long Buctober

A year ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates reached the playoffs for the first time since 1992. Exactly one year later, they clinched again. This time around, they sit 1.5 games out of first place, with an outside shot of taking the NL Central and skipping over the one-game play-in. The more likely scenario is that they would end up with home field in the Wild Card game, especially since the Giants have to make up two games just to take home...

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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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