First Pitch: Why Has This Been a Quiet Off-Season For the Pirates?
Nov26

First Pitch: Why Has This Been a Quiet Off-Season For the Pirates?

In baseball, a slow off-season is the norm. The off-season is called the hot stove season because it resembles water heating up. You turn on the burners, then you wait. And you wait. Then you see a few bubbles. Then suddenly, the water is boiling and you’re ready to go. It feels like the Pirates have had a slow off-season thus far. No, it hasn’t been slow in the sense that they haven’t made any moves. Aside from all...

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First Pitch: It’s Time For Gaby Sanchez to Get Appreciated as a Good Platoon Player
Nov25

First Pitch: It’s Time For Gaby Sanchez to Get Appreciated as a Good Platoon Player

I took a break from working on the 2015 Prospect Guide today to respond to a question about whether Allen Craig would be a good replacement for Gaby Sanchez as the right-handed half of the first base platoon. My response was that Sanchez has been better in his career against lefties than Craig. My first mistake was even entering a discussion about Gaby Sanchez and saying something other than “Gaby Sanchez is the worst player...

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First Pitch: What Do Today’s Moves Mean For the Rest of the Pirates Off-Season?
Nov21

First Pitch: What Do Today’s Moves Mean For the Rest of the Pirates Off-Season?

The Pittsburgh Pirates made several moves today, adding four players to the 40-man roster, claiming Pedro Florimon from the Washington Nationals, and still not confirming the Radhames Liz deal, even though everyone else is saying it’s a done deal. Here is a rundown from the busy day. The Rule 5 Additions I profiled the Rule 5 additions here, and looked at the guys who are eligible here. I’m not going to go into detail on...

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First Pitch: One of the Busiest Days of the Off-Season For Transactions
Nov20

First Pitch: One of the Busiest Days of the Off-Season For Transactions

The off-season is full of transactions, but in most cases, you never know when those transactions might take place. That’s not the case today. Today is one of about three or four days during the off-season where you know that a specific team is going to be making a transaction. It’s the day to protect players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. I wrote about the decisions the Pirates will...

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First Pitch: Finding the Second Left-Hander For the Pirates Bullpen
Nov19

First Pitch: Finding the Second Left-Hander For the Pirates Bullpen

I was thinking about the need for the Pittsburgh Pirates to add a second left-hander to their bullpen this afternoon on two different occasions. The first was when Zach Duke signed a three-year deal for $15 M with the Chicago White Sox. The Pirates later announced a bunch of minor league signings, with one of them being left-hander Jeremy Bleich. These are two ends of the spectrum. On one side, there’s Duke, who is coming off a...

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First Pitch: Catcher Defense Has Gained a Massive Amount of Appreciation in Two Years
Nov18

First Pitch: Catcher Defense Has Gained a Massive Amount of Appreciation in Two Years

Two years ago, Russell Martin made a very smart decision. He was reportedly seeking four years and $9-10 M per year, and no team would come close to that amount. The New York Yankees were reported to have offered two years and $13 M, or three years and $21 M. The Pittsburgh Pirates had the top offer at two years and $17 M. They also made a three-year offer. Martin declined that offer, opting for a two-year deal and the chance to...

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