First Pitch: Charlie Morton is Jeff Locke With Regression
Jul28

First Pitch: Charlie Morton is Jeff Locke With Regression

Last night Jeff Locke put 13 batters on base. Only one of those batters scored. Tonight Charlie Morton put 9 batters on base. Four of those batters scored. Locke was bailed out by his defense and balls being hit to the right spot. Starling Marte threw out a runner at home. With the bases loaded and one out a liner was hit directly to Gaby Sanchez who had shifted away from the first base bag. That prevented two runs from scoring, while...

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First Pitch: Is the Trade Deadline Overrated?
Jul27

First Pitch: Is the Trade Deadline Overrated?

There’s one thing I’ve never understood about the trade deadline. A team contends for the majority of the season. They hold their own against other contending teams, and beat the weaker teams. You get a situation where a team has the best record in the majors on July 31st. Then everyone says they need to make a trade. As if everything they’ve done in the first four months is meaningless, and the only way they can...

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First Pitch: You Can Never Have Too Much Depth
Jul26

First Pitch: You Can Never Have Too Much Depth

If you want to point to one reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates have been so successful this year, the most obvious reason would be their pitching. I talked about the pitching last night, pointing out how the Pirates are only projected to spend $36.5 M for the number one ranked pitching staff in baseball. But digging deeper into the success of the pitching staff, we can see the real fuel for this year’s team has been the depth....

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First Pitch: The Best $36.5 M Spent in Baseball Today
Jul25

First Pitch: The Best $36.5 M Spent in Baseball Today

There’s not a lot that $36.5 M will buy in baseball these days. **Ten free agents this off-season received contracts that will pay them $36 M or more over anywhere from 3-6 years. **The New York Yankees are spending $41 M on their injured third basemen — Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis. **20 players in the majors make $20 M or more, which means you couldn’t even get two of the highest paid players for that amount....

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First Pitch: Huntington’s Underrated Trades, and the 2013 Deadline Challenge
Jul24

First Pitch: Huntington’s Underrated Trades, and the 2013 Deadline Challenge

It’s kind of fitting how the current trade deadline is shaping up. Back when the Pittsburgh Pirates were rebuilding, teams were hoarding prospects. No one traded top prospects, and sometimes entire minor league teams would be made unavailable, even for good players in return. Now the Pirates have their best shot of contending, and have one of the best farm systems in the game. Back when they were sellers, that combination would...

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First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine
Jul23

First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine

I feel like I’m traveling back in time with tonight’s article. About seven months ago the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed Jason Grilli. Joel Hanrahan was still on the roster, so Grilli was viewed as a great set-up man. Then, a few weeks later, Hanrahan was traded to the Boston Red Sox, with Mark Melancon being one of the key pieces coming back. This led to two exhausting off-season debates. 1. Can Jason Grilli Close? On one...

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