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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First Pitch: The Pirates Short and Long Term at Shortstop
May17

First Pitch: The Pirates Short and Long Term at Shortstop

Today I wrote about Jordy Mercer and how I think he’s going to bounce back offensively this year. He may already be in the process of doing just that, but I don’t want to put too much stock on his recent hot streak, which is a sample size of six games. If Mercer doesn’t bounce back, then the Pirates once again find themselves in trouble at the shortstop position. That’s not an uncommon thing, as shortstop is...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Have Returned to the Days Where They Can’t Beat Milwaukee
May16

First Pitch: The Pirates Have Returned to the Days Where They Can’t Beat Milwaukee

There were so many reasons that the Pittsburgh Pirates were winners last year. But one key aspect to their winning season was the fact that no one team dominated them. Their worst record against any team was 2-4, which happened against the Rockies and Dodgers. In the years leading up to the 2013 season, there was one team that always dominated the Pirates: the Milwaukee Brewers. Whether it was at home, or in Miller Park, the Pirates...

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First Pitch: What Would Russell Martin Be Worth in Free Agency?
May15

First Pitch: What Would Russell Martin Be Worth in Free Agency?

Earlier today I wrote about the throwing problems from Tony Sanchez, and how those issues could keep Sanchez from being a starter in the majors. The Pirates will have a choice this off-season between trying to bring back Russell Martin, or giving the everyday job to Sanchez. Originally it seemed like a lock that Sanchez would take the job next year. But the more he struggles with his throwing, the more he could see that future...

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First Pitch: Where are the Pirates Breakout Prospects This Year?
May14

First Pitch: Where are the Pirates Breakout Prospects This Year?

Over the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had more than their fair share of breakout prospects. Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson stepped up in West Virginia in 2012. Tyler Glasnow emerged in 2013 at the same level. Guys like Nick Kingham, Stetson Allie, and Joely Rodriguez also improved their stock. The one thing about Polanco, Hanson, and Glasnow is that they were not only breakout prospects on a local level, but they were...

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First Pitch: Could the Pirates Be Sellers This July?
May13

First Pitch: Could the Pirates Be Sellers This July?

Today I was reading a few articles about how the Tampa Bay Rays might have to start thinking about trading David Price this summer due to their record. This was before their loss tonight, when they were sitting 16-22. That had me thinking two things. 1. I need to go up to St. Pete to see David Price soon. 2. If the Rays need to start thinking about selling because they’re 16-22 and four games out of the wild card, then what...

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