First Pitch: Why the Pirates Optioned Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke to the Minors
Aug31

First Pitch: Why the Pirates Optioned Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke to the Minors

Over the last two days, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a few moves to add some short-term depth, sending down players who have and will continue to be a big part of the 2014 season, all to get a few days of extra depth on the bench. The first move saw the Pirates option Gerrit Cole to Bristol, which allowed them to bring up Andrew Lambo. Then, they optioned Jeff Locke to Indianapolis, bringing up Brent Morel. Both moves probably...

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First Pitch: Thoughts From Indy on Lambo’s Power, Top Pitchers, and Bullpen Help
Aug30

First Pitch: Thoughts From Indy on Lambo’s Power, Top Pitchers, and Bullpen Help

Andrew Lambo, who had a starting big league job in the spring to lose, managed to do just that. Along with this collapse, Lambo managed to avoid a call up, despite hitting .332 with a .962 OPS in 60 games with Indianapolis. That streak ended today when the Pirates called him up, likely for the remainder of the season. But why did it take this long? After the trade for Ike Davis on April 18, I reported that Lambo was no longer playing...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Still Lost the Marlon Byrd Deal, and That’s Still OK
Aug29

First Pitch: The Pirates Still Lost the Marlon Byrd Deal, and That’s Still OK

A year and a day ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the New York Mets, sending Dilson Herrera and Vic Black in return. Today, the Mets called up Herrera to the majors, which means the second baseman has made the jump from Low-A to the majors in one year. That, plus an off-day for the Pirates, gives us the chance to re-visit the trade and see how the Pirates made out in the deal. At the time of the...

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First Pitch: Who is the Pirates’ MVP So Far?
Aug28

First Pitch: Who is the Pirates’ MVP So Far?

As the playoff race heats up, there will be three big topics that Pittsburgh Pirates fans will be discussing over the final month. 1. Forget this amazing playoff race! Let’s focus on whether Russell Martin will return in the off-season. 2. My doctor said I can only watch public access TV because the Pirates’ bullpen does horrible things for my blood pressure. 3. (Insert Player Here) is the MVP. That third one is what...

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First Pitch: Who Will the Pirates Call Up When Rosters Expand?
Aug27

First Pitch: Who Will the Pirates Call Up When Rosters Expand?

In a little less than a week, rosters will expand around baseball, allowing teams to carry up to 40 guys on the active roster, being limited to anyone on the 40-man roster. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, this will almost certainly mean the arrival of some bullpen arms to help out, along with some extra bench players, and the return of Gregory Polanco. Rosters expand on September 1st, at which point we should see a lot of moves (Polanco...

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First Pitch: Thoughts on Polanco’s Demotion, Snider’s Breakout, and More
Aug26

First Pitch: Thoughts on Polanco’s Demotion, Snider’s Breakout, and More

The Pittsburgh Pirates made several roster moves today, with the biggest one being the swap of Gregory Polanco for Jose Tabata. The decision to send Polanco down is only short-term, as he will be returning in about a week when the minor league season is over. Until then, you can expect Travis Snider to get most of the playing time in right field. I had some thoughts on the series of moves, presented below in no formal order. **First,...

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