First Pitch: Comparing the Pirates’ 2014 Starting Pitching Depth to 2013
Dec27

First Pitch: Comparing the Pirates’ 2014 Starting Pitching Depth to 2013

Back in February I took a look at the starting pitching depth heading into the 2013 season. Throughout the off-season, I didn’t have concerns about the rotation, even though a lot of people were viewing the starters as a big question mark. I’d chalk that up to the age of Super Rotations. With big market teams possessing multiple aces, and number two starters pitching in the number four spot, it gives the belief that a team...

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First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon Have the Best Outfield in Baseball
Dec24

First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon Have the Best Outfield in Baseball

The Pittsburgh Pirates have an MVP center fielder. They also have a center fielder who is a playmaker, and uses his center field skills to be one of the best defensive left-fielders in the game. In the wings they have a third center fielder who has the potential to be just as good as the MVP, and who could arrive by mid-season 2014. Most teams would kill for just one good center fielder. The Pirates will most likely have three of them...

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First Pitch: The 2014 Prospect Guide is Now Available
Dec20

First Pitch: The 2014 Prospect Guide is Now Available

I arrived in Virginia this afternoon, a few days early for Christmas, for the main purpose of trying to get the 2014 Prospect Guide out by the end of the week. By sending the book to Virginia, rather than Florida, I was able to get everything packaged up tonight to ship out tomorrow. If you have placed a pre-order, you would have received a tracking number in your e-mail. This is the fourth Prospect Guide we have produced. This...

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First Pitch: The Only Thing About TV Revenue That Matters
Dec18

First Pitch: The Only Thing About TV Revenue That Matters

The controversy surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates’ local TV deal is a strange one. The Pirates are considered a small market team, or low revenue if you prefer. Their TV deal has been reported to be one of the lowest in the game, in a time where teams are signing huge TV contracts right and left. The Pirates signed their extension — running through 2020 — just before the TV market exploded. Call it bad timing, bad...

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First Pitch: The New Prospect Ranking System in the 2014 Prospect Guide
Dec17

First Pitch: The New Prospect Ranking System in the 2014 Prospect Guide

I’ve always made it known that I don’t like numerical ranking lists for prospects. They’re simple. They’re fun. They generate a lot of interest. But they don’t tell the entire story. A numerical ranking system will tell you that one player is ranked higher than another player, but it won’t tell you exactly how good one player is to another player ranked below him. There are many cases where one...

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First Pitch: The 2014 Pirates Are a Better Team Than the 2013 Pirates
Dec13

First Pitch: The 2014 Pirates Are a Better Team Than the 2013 Pirates

Every off-season you see the same type of analysis when it comes to evaluating how a team has improved for the following season. It’s always a basic formula that subtracts the players who are leaving from the end of the season roster, and adds in only the players who project to be on the 25-man roster on Opening Day the following year. And the whole process is wrong. The Pirates saw A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau,...

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