First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

In 2010 the Altoona Curve had a group of pitchers that went on to be called “The Altoona Four” out of convenience. I say convenience because the group led Altoona to an Eastern League title in 2010, but they also led the Lynchburg Hillcats to a Carolina League title in 2009. So they could have easily been “The Lynchburg Four”, which isn’t really as catchy. Then, in 2011, only two of them moved up to...

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First Pitch: Should Jose Tabata Be the Everyday Right Fielder?

So far this season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been using Travis Snider most of the time against right-handers. However, when a lefty is on the mound, Snider is on the bench. On the season Snider has just eight plate appearances against lefties. Guys like Jose Tabata and Brandon Inge have been getting the starts in right field, with Tabata being the go-to guy, and Inge only starting during a time when Tabata was hurt. Even though the...

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First Pitch: I Miss the Astros, But Not the Reminder They Bring

It’s weird seeing things from the other side. About six years ago the Pirates were exactly where the Houston Astros are right now. They were in complete rebuild mode, trying to build up a depleted farm system, and looking horrible in the majors. There’s no hope in the short-term, and it may take a few years before the Astros have any hope for the long-term. When the Astros moved to the AL West this year, it meant the...

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First Pitch: Thursday Thoughts on Liriano, Martin, Wilson, Milwaukee, Sanchez

Thursday is podcast recording day. Today it was also “Go see Luis Heredia at Pirate City” day (article coming tomorrow), and “Ten Articles Will Go Up on the Site Today” day, and “Your friends want to go to trivia at 9 PM and the Pirates are already destroying the Brewers so you can watch on your phone on the way” day. So we’re doing the Thursday night “thoughts” article again....

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First Pitch: Wandy Rodriguez Will Most Likely Land the Pirates a Draft Pick

When the Wandy Rodriguez trade first went down, I wasn’t a big fan of the deal. Rodriguez had been struggling with the Astros in the two months leading up to the trade, and had seen his strikeouts dropping in each of the last few seasons. Simply put, he wasn’t the same pitcher he was a few years ago, and there were some Matt Morris concerns with his 2012 struggles. So far with the Pirates, Rodriguez is showing that he can...

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First Pitch: Taking the Jordy Mercer Approach With Tony Sanchez

The one thing we can take away from the Jordy Mercer situation is that the Pirates plan to have him as the primary shortstop in 2014, or at least the top candidate for the job. We hope that’s the situation. Otherwise it really makes no sense to get Mercer adjusted to the majors in the short-term as a utility player. But I think that the fact that Mercer was used as a starter when Neil Walker was down speaks well to how the...

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