First Pitch: When Could the Pirates Expect a $100 M Deal?
Jan24

First Pitch: When Could the Pirates Expect a $100 M Deal?

Yesterday, Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly was on 93.7 The Fan, and discussed the likelihood of the Pirates ever issuing a $100 M contract. Coonelly said that the Pirates would eventually sign a $100 M deal, but couldn’t say when. That’s kind of a vague response that would technically be correct since it leaves the possibility of a $100 M deal open for as long as the Pirates are in existence. I wanted to take a...

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First Pitch: The First Baseman of the Future Probably Isn’t Playing First Base
Jan23

First Pitch: The First Baseman of the Future Probably Isn’t Playing First Base

The Pittsburgh Pirates have question marks at first base and right field entering the 2014 season. If you look through the farm system for long-term answers in right field, you don’t have to go far to find the right-fielder of the future. His name is Gregory Polanco, and he should arrive in mid-2014. If you go through the farm system looking for the first baseman of the future, you’re not going to find any leading...

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First Pitch: The Difference Between the Haves and the Have-Nots
Jan22

First Pitch: The Difference Between the Haves and the Have-Nots

As you know, I’ve written a lot about how MLB’s economic system is unfair. Large market teams can spend with no concern about financial risks or dead contracts in the future. Small market teams have to be smart, and have a large group of players that are completely unavailable to them. The difference in payroll is about $100 M from what the mega teams spend and what most small market teams spend. The gap is even starting...

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First Pitch: The Downside of Being a Top Prospect at a Young Age
Jan21

First Pitch: The Downside of Being a Top Prospect at a Young Age

Last week, during our top 20 prospect countdown, we profiled Andrew Lambo and Stolmy Pimentel as part of the 11-15 ranked prospects. Both guys share a lot in common in that they: **Were once top prospects at a young age. **Have both struggled at the Double-A level. **Were both traded to the Pirates at a low value. **Both had big bounce back seasons in 2013, finally dominating Double-A, carrying that over to Triple-A, and even making...

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First Pitch: Projecting 88 Wins for the 2014 Pirates Using ZiPS
Jan18

First Pitch: Projecting 88 Wins for the 2014 Pirates Using ZiPS

Last year I did an article that projected 81-84 wins using the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections. The range was due to the question marks surrounding Francisco Liriano’s signing at this time last year. With Liriano, the Pirates were projected for 83 wins. Without him, they were projected for 81. There were also rumors about Shaun Marcum, who would have taken the team to 84 wins. The Pirates ended up exceeding their...

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First Pitch: Looking Back at Last Year’s Pre-Season Projection
Jan17

First Pitch: Looking Back at Last Year’s Pre-Season Projection

Tomorrow the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections will be released on FanGraphs. Last year when the projections came out, I decided to take a look at my projected roster to get a feel for the overall talent level of the team. I ended up using the ZiPS WAR totals to project 81-84 wins. The range in wins was due to where the Pirates were during the off-season. The deal with Francisco Liriano wasn’t yet official, and there were...

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