First Pitch: Brandon Inge is a Leader, But the Pirates Have Different Needs
Jul09

First Pitch: Brandon Inge is a Leader, But the Pirates Have Different Needs

Brandon Inge has started the last two games with Neil Walker out. Brandon Inge also had a .190 average and a .464 OPS coming into tonight’s game. It’s not like there’s a lot of upside to be had there either. Inge had a combined .606 OPS in the last two years. He has strong defensive skills on the field, and that’s about the extent of his value. Well, unless you count his leadership skills. At this point the...

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First Pitch: What Led to Last Year’s Collapse and Why This Year Is Different
Jul08

First Pitch: What Led to Last Year’s Collapse and Why This Year Is Different

The Pirates have lost four of their last six games, losing a series each to the Phillies and Cubs. That sent the team plummeting to having the best record in baseball still, even after those losses. Yet, as with any loss, the word “collapse” gets thrown around, as if losing a series is something that could only mean a collapse, rather than just something that happens to every team. The “collapse” term gets...

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First Pitch: How Are Last Month’s Promoted Prospects Doing at New Levels?
Jul07

First Pitch: How Are Last Month’s Promoted Prospects Doing at New Levels?

About a month ago the Pirates made a ton of promotions throughout the minor league system. The promotions saw several prospects moving up in the system, plus the 2013 debut of Luis Heredia in West Virginia. With about a month in the books for all of these moves, now would be a good time to get some first impressions. None of these guys have accumulated enough playing time to the point where their stats say a lot about their potential....

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First Pitch: The GCL Roster Will Have a Lot of Upside Later This Month
Jul06

First Pitch: The GCL Roster Will Have a Lot of Upside Later This Month

The Pirates went with a lot of upside this year in the draft. They also signed a lot of prep players, including a few over-slot guys after the tenth round. I was looking over the GCL roster this afternoon, and realized that in a few weeks this could be one of the biggest upside rosters in the system. Consider the following lineup and rotation, once everyone is ready. C – Reese McGuire: Danny Arribas is also a good, athletic...

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First Pitch: Could the Pirates Have Five All-Stars This Year?
Jul05

First Pitch: Could the Pirates Have Five All-Stars This Year?

I don’t usually follow the All-Star Game that much. Part of that is probably because there hasn’t been much reason to follow the game from the Pirates perspective. Honestly it’s also a nice 2-3 day period where I can relax in the middle of the marathon season, because there’s no games that count. Well, except for the All-Star Game. It counts. It shouldn’t count for anything, but once upon a time the...

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First Pitch: Maybe the Pirates Pitching Staff Won’t Regress
Jul04

First Pitch: Maybe the Pirates Pitching Staff Won’t Regress

We’ve talked a lot this year about regression. Jeff Locke is a regression candidate. Jeanmar Gomez is a regression candidate. The entire Pirates’ pitching staff has combined to lead the league in BABIP, and it’s not close. You could say the same for strand rates, although the Braves and Royals are close behind them. Every time the topic of regression comes up, it is met with “Maybe (insert player here) is the...

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