First Pitch: The Spark the Pirates Needed to Turn Things Around?
May03

First Pitch: The Spark the Pirates Needed to Turn Things Around?

For tonight’s article, I was planning on writing about how the Pittsburgh Pirates were pretty much out of the playoff race. Then they came back in the ninth inning with two home runs, winning it on a walk off homer by Starling Marte. The new topic? The same topic. I’d write about how that might be the spark the Pirates need to turn things around, but that might be making too much out of one really good win, which was three...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Should Call Up Andrew Lambo
May02

First Pitch: The Pirates Should Call Up Andrew Lambo

Today we wrapped up the first month of the 2014 season in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system by announcing the Player of the Month and the Pitcher of the Month. I originally planned to have First Pitch focus on early season promotion candidates at each level. However, after going through each level, I couldn’t find any “must promote” players in Altoona or West Virginia. That’s not to say that no one is...

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First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis
May01

First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis

Follow @NateBarnes_ As discussed yesterday, the 2014 Pirates are emphasizing on-base percentage in hopes of improving an offense that ranked ninth in the National League by scoring 3.91 runs per game during the 2013 season. The key elements to this approach are being “intelligently aggressive” at the plate, striking out less and working counts to see good pitches to hit as opposed to flailing away at what a pitcher wants to throw in a...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Farm System Got Some Good Pitching in April
Apr30

First Pitch: The Pirates Farm System Got Some Good Pitching in April

Back in spring training, I pointed out how the Pittsburgh Pirates had legit pitching prospects for every spot in their full season minor league rotations. By “legit pitching prospects”, I mean guys who have some sort of shot of reaching the majors — whether that’s as a starter, reliever, or just a depth option. Since the spring, a lot has changed. Clay Holmes and Jameson Taillon had Tommy John surgery. Luis...

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First Pitch: Why Don’t Teams Tell the Truth About Super Two?
Apr29

First Pitch: Why Don’t Teams Tell the Truth About Super Two?

The decision of when to promote Gregory Polanco has been a hot button issue lately, especially with the Pittsburgh Pirates struggling to score runs on a consistent basis in the majors. Neal Huntington spoke to Rob Biertempfel of the Trib about when Polanco might be up, noting that Super Two “is not a driving factor”. He also added the following. “He’s continuing to refine some of the intricacies of his game,” Huntington...

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First Pitch: It’s Hard For the Pirates to Win When These Five Players are Struggling
Apr28

First Pitch: It’s Hard For the Pirates to Win When These Five Players are Struggling

We’re almost a month into the 2014 season, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a rough start. They’re 10-16, the offense has been poor, and the pitching has been closer to middle of the pack than a top group this year. There are calls for Gregory Polanco to arrive on a daily basis, along with any other help the Pirates can find. Guys like Polanco would help, but the truth is that this team is seeing several of their...

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