First Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.
Feb21

First Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.

A few days ago, Frank Coonelly said to KDKA that he feels the current Pittsburgh Pirates team is better than the team that ended the 2013 season. I’m higher on the 2014 team than most, but I don’t think I agree with the idea that they’re better at the start of 2014 than the end of 2013. If given the choice, I’d take A.J. Burnett over Edinson Volquez, and I’d take Marlon Byrd over the combination of Jose...

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First Pitch: What Got the Pirates Here and What Will Keep Them Here
Feb20

First Pitch: What Got the Pirates Here and What Will Keep Them Here

Today, Bob Nutting met with the media, and one of the things he mentioned over and over was how the Pittsburgh Pirates need to continue to develop players from within. You’re not going to get any arguments on that approach from me. I’m a guy who believes that small market teams like the Pirates, Rays, and Athletics need to rely heavily on their farm system. They need to be giving chances to guys like Andrew Lambo, rather...

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First Pitch: A Glimpse at the Future
Feb19

First Pitch: A Glimpse at the Future

**Earlier today I wrote about Gregory Polanco and some of the defensive adjustments he made last year while he was in Bradenton. Polanco said that adjustment helped him to become a more complete outfielder. Everyone has questions about prospects, even the safe bets like Polanco. For me, Polanco becomes less of a question mark because of his skills in the outfield, and his speed. Those are two skills that translate to every level, and...

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First Pitch: Additional Proof that Andrew McCutchen is Awesome
Feb18

First Pitch: Additional Proof that Andrew McCutchen is Awesome

Most of what I write on the site involves analysis. That’s usually prospect analysis, focusing on what a player could become, or player analysis in the majors, trying to focus on the value of a player and what that player might be able to do to get more value. Because of this approach, it’s hard coming up with ideas to write about Andrew McCutchen. It’s not really hard to come up with ideas. It’s just that...

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First Pitch: Pirates Starting Entrance Interviews This Week, But What Are They?
Feb17

First Pitch: Pirates Starting Entrance Interviews This Week, But What Are They?

Each year during Spring Training there is a player that exceeds expectations, yet doesn’t win a roster spot. Perhaps it’s a top prospect who gets a shot, looks good in a few appearances, then is sent down to the minors. It could be a non-roster invitee who plays well, but has no chance of beating out the projected starter, even if that starter isn’t having a good Spring. There are often complaints and theories about...

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First Pitch: An Important Part of Every Team That Rarely Gets Discussed
Feb14

First Pitch: An Important Part of Every Team That Rarely Gets Discussed

Spring Training kicked off today, which means that all of the focus will be on one thing: the Opening Day 25-man roster. This always gets a huge focus at the start of the year, and probably much more of a focus than it should. The baseball season is six months long, and the Opening Day roster is usually intact for about two weeks, at-most, before changes occur. Injuries happen. Players don’t perform as expected. Certain players...

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