First Pitch: When Should Players Change Positions?
Jan09

First Pitch: When Should Players Change Positions?

There are two types of questions I get often involving players changing positions. Usually the questions surround a position of immediate need for the Pirates. This year all of the questions involve first base. The questions have the focus of filling a first base need, either in the short-term or the long-term. I answer them all the time, but felt I would expand on each answer here. Short-Term The short-term questions usually involve...

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First Pitch: Notes From Day Two of Mini-Camp
Jan08

First Pitch: Notes From Day Two of Mini-Camp

Today was the second day of mini-camp, and it was pretty much identical to day one. If you’ve ever been to minor league Spring Training over at Pirate City, then you’d know the routines. The entire team does their warm up exercises. Then the pitchers do their throwing programs on one field, while the fielders play catch on another field. The position players take fielding drills, and some take batting practice. The...

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First Pitch: The Pirates System is Built For Long Term Success
Jan07

First Pitch: The Pirates System is Built For Long Term Success

For a few moments today, it felt like Spring Training. I was up at 5:30, got to the field at 7:30, and my phone was back on the charger shortly after 11 AM. Of course, it’s not Spring Training. It’s mini-camp, or more accurately it’s “voluntary workouts”, since “mini-camp” is restricted in the new CBA. Also, it’s definitely not Spring Training since it’s supposed to be 35 degrees...

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First Pitch: Comparing the Pirates’ 2014 Starting Pitching Depth to 2013
Dec27

First Pitch: Comparing the Pirates’ 2014 Starting Pitching Depth to 2013

Back in February I took a look at the starting pitching depth heading into the 2013 season. Throughout the off-season, I didn’t have concerns about the rotation, even though a lot of people were viewing the starters as a big question mark. I’d chalk that up to the age of Super Rotations. With big market teams possessing multiple aces, and number two starters pitching in the number four spot, it gives the belief that a team...

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First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon Have the Best Outfield in Baseball
Dec24

First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon Have the Best Outfield in Baseball

The Pittsburgh Pirates have an MVP center fielder. They also have a center fielder who is a playmaker, and uses his center field skills to be one of the best defensive left-fielders in the game. In the wings they have a third center fielder who has the potential to be just as good as the MVP, and who could arrive by mid-season 2014. Most teams would kill for just one good center fielder. The Pirates will most likely have three of them...

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First Pitch: The 2014 Prospect Guide is Now Available
Dec20

First Pitch: The 2014 Prospect Guide is Now Available

I arrived in Virginia this afternoon, a few days early for Christmas, for the main purpose of trying to get the 2014 Prospect Guide out by the end of the week. By sending the book to Virginia, rather than Florida, I was able to get everything packaged up tonight to ship out tomorrow. If you have placed a pre-order, you would have received a tracking number in your e-mail. This is the fourth Prospect Guide we have produced. This...

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