First Pitch: Is Justin Sellers the New Clint Barmes?
Oct26

First Pitch: Is Justin Sellers the New Clint Barmes?

Today was a busy day of moves for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They acquired infielder Justin Sellers from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations, then designated John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez for assignment (clearing spots on the 40-man roster for Sellers and Charlie Morton, who was reinstated from the DL). The moves to DFA Axford and Gomez don’t amount to much. They were both heading for arbitration, and I had them both...

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First Pitch: Who Are the Best Reclamation Starting Pitchers For the 2015 Season?
Oct24

First Pitch: Who Are the Best Reclamation Starting Pitchers For the 2015 Season?

Over the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten a lot of value on the pitching market. They added A.J. Burnett for two years, Francisco Liriano for two years, Edinson Volquez for a year, Vance Worley for the 2014 season plus four more years of control, and several other relievers for small costs. The combined cost for Burnett, Liriano, Volquez, and Worley was just under $30 M. The four pitchers combined for 164 starts with...

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First Pitch: What if the Pirates Keep Everyone This Off-Season?
Oct23

First Pitch: What if the Pirates Keep Everyone This Off-Season?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to have an interesting off-season. In the last two weeks I have been recapping all of the individual positions, noting what happened during the 2014 season and looking ahead to future years. Aside from the Russell Martin situation, and all of the decisions to be made on pitching, the Pirates have a lot of decisions to make that could go a lot of different ways. Here is a rundown of each situation....

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First Pitch: Who Should Stay, Who Should Go From the Three-Headed First Base Platoon?
Oct22

First Pitch: Who Should Stay, Who Should Go From the Three-Headed First Base Platoon?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to have some interesting decisions to make at first base this off-season. And by “interesting decisions”, I mean they’ve got a group of players making a lot of combined money, with none of them coming off a good year at the first base position. The three-headed platoon of Pedro Alvarez, Ike Davis, and Gaby Sanchez will probably make around $13.5 M, which is a bit misleading, since the...

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First Pitch: Is Chris Stewart the Best Catching Option If the Pirates Can’t Re-Sign Martin?
Oct21

First Pitch: Is Chris Stewart the Best Catching Option If the Pirates Can’t Re-Sign Martin?

The Pittsburgh Pirates brought in Chris Stewart last year to serve as a defensive specialist behind Russell Martin. Stewart did not exactly specialize in defense during the 2014 season. The catcher posted his best year ever offensively, with a .693 OPS that was over 100 points higher than his career numbers entering the season. That was largely fueled by a .364 BABIP, which is way up from his career .259 BABIP. Stewart has never...

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First Pitch: How Baseball is Still Unfair to Small Markets, Despite Small Market Success
Oct17

First Pitch: How Baseball is Still Unfair to Small Markets, Despite Small Market Success

I’ve written a lot about how baseball is unfair to small market teams. The fact that some teams can spend double or triple what about a third of the league can spend in payroll illustrates that baseball doesn’t have equality. A lot of times, this argument is mistaken as saying “small market teams can’t win.” We’re currently in a year where the Kansas City Royals are going to a World Series. The...

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