First Pitch: Where Can the Pirates Exceed Their Projections?
Apr09

First Pitch: Where Can the Pirates Exceed Their Projections?

Earlier today I took a look at the playoff odds for the first time this season. The Pirates were projected just outside of the second Wild Card spot, mostly due to the fact that their poor pre-season projections are still making up a bulk of the projections, despite their early season success. The Pirates are off to a 5-2 start, which really doesn’t mean much this early in the season. The pre-season projections should be making...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Farm System Getting Hammered With Injuries
Apr08

First Pitch: The Pirates Farm System Getting Hammered With Injuries

The success of a farm system depends on a lot of things. You need good drafting. You need to sign talented players in the international ranks. You need good scouts to identify talent in both places. After the players are in the system, you need to develop them. But even with all of the things that can be controlled, you still need luck to have a successful farm system. Part of that luck involves keeping everyone healthy. The Pirates...

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First Pitch: You Can’t Stop Pitching Injuries, You Can Only Hope to Contain Them
Apr07

First Pitch: You Can’t Stop Pitching Injuries, You Can Only Hope to Contain Them

Once upon a time, it seemed like every top pitching prospect the Pittsburgh Pirates had would go down with a major injury. Bobby Bradley, Kris Benson, Sean Burnett, Bryan Bullington, John Van Benschoten, and plenty of others were plagued by injuries. Some of those injuries were career altering. But over the last several years, that trend has disappeared. Under Neal Huntington, the Pirates have been extremely cautious with their...

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First Pitch: Do the Pirates Now Have a Defined Window to Contend?
Apr06

First Pitch: Do the Pirates Now Have a Defined Window to Contend?

Today the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the extensions of General Manager Neal Huntington and Manager Clint Hurdle. Both were extended through the 2017 season, with options for the 2018 season. Coincidentally, that puts both guys in the same boat as Andrew McCutchen, who is also under contract through the 2017 season, with an option for 2018. If you believe in “windows” for small market teams, then that certainly would mark...

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First Pitch: Can the Pirates Contend With the Cardinals?
Apr05

First Pitch: Can the Pirates Contend With the Cardinals?

Tonight’s blowout victory by the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals was just one game, and shouldn’t be taken as anything more than just one game. But I did think that the game tonight was ironic, considering the off-season narratives for the two teams. On one side, you had the Cardinals, who got a lot of praise (myself included) for upgrading their defense on paper over the off-season. They added Peter...

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First Pitch: The Death of Free Agency
Apr04

First Pitch: The Death of Free Agency

Yesterday the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to an extension with right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, getting control of two of his free agent years in the process. Archer becomes the 15th player during the 2014 calendar year to sign an extension that buys out control of at least one free agent year. The Pittsburgh Pirates made one of those deals, extending Starling Marte two weeks ago. There have been a lot of extensions of this nature around...

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