First Pitch: These Pirates Are Good, But…

In tonight’s game story, James Santelli broke down the great homestand the Pirates just had, and how impressive it was that they beat three teams who look like they’ll be heading to the playoffs this year. I thought about following up on that by looking back at what I’ve said over the last two years when the Pirates started to look promising. There have been times in each of the last two years where the Pirates have...

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First Pitch: The New Wandy Rodriguez Making Last Summer’s Trade Look Good

When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez last year at the trade deadline, I wasn’t a fan of the move. For one, I really liked Robbie Grossman’s upside. I also didn’t think Rodriguez was the same pitcher he was a few years ago. From 2008-2010, Rodriguez combined for a 3.36 ERA, along with an 8.4 K/9 and a 2.9 BB/9 ratio. Since then his strikeouts have dropped slowly, ending up about 2.0 K/9 lower than that...

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First Pitch: Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon? Who is Better?

Spoiler alert: Before I begin, I’m not going to answer the question of which prospect between Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon is better. I think that no matter which side you pick, you’re going to be splitting hairs. I’ll also take the cheap way out, and point out that it’s a good problem to have to debate which top pitching prospect is the better option. I’ve been getting comments asking if Jameson...

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First Pitch: A Great Day of Starting Pitching

Wednesday was probably the best day of system-wide starting pitching you could ask for. First there was A.J. Burnett, who led the pitching staff in throwing a one-hitter. Not just a one-hitter, but a one-hitter against the best team in the division. James Santelli did a great job breaking down the start in this article. Then there were the starters in the minors, who combined for 24.2 shutout innings. Those starters included top...

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First Pitch: The Unpredictable Stetson Allie

I have a new rule for Stetson Allie. Whatever he’s doing in Spring Training, I’m going to take the opposite and that’s going to be my prediction for the year. Last year — when Allie was a pitcher — I thought he looked good in Spring Training. That wasn’t just me. That was the opinion of other people who were watching, whether that was scouts, other people on the site, or coaches and players. It was...

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First Pitch: All of the Warning Signs are There For a James McDonald Injury

After the first start of the year from James McDonald, I got a question. “What is up with his velocity? Is he injured?” McDonald’s velocity was down in the first game of the year. He ranged from about 87-92 MPH, but averaged 89 MPH with his fastball. Looking at this chart from FanGraphs, it was the first time in the last three seasons that he’s averaged below 90 MPH in a game. He’s only averaged 90 once....

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