First Pitch: Pirates Will Need More Than John Axford to Upgrade the Bullpen
Aug15

First Pitch: Pirates Will Need More Than John Axford to Upgrade the Bullpen

Last night I wrote about the problems that have been plaguing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bullpen. They’ve had a lot of guys who were key players in the bullpen last year struggle this year. They’ve had guys traded away who instantly turned things around, which was a process that usually worked out the opposite way, with the Pirates adding the rebound candidates. They added bounce back candidates to the bullpen, and none...

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First Pitch: A Look at Everything Going Wrong For the Pirates Bullpen This Year
Aug14

First Pitch: A Look at Everything Going Wrong For the Pirates Bullpen This Year

If there’s one thing Neal Huntington has been consistently good at, it has been building a bullpen and finding a lot of quality relievers. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case during the 2014 season. Last year the Pirates had a ton of success stories with their bullpen. Jason Grilli was given the chance to close, and was fantastic in the role. Mark Melancon was acquired in a trade from Boston, and bounced back from a...

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First Pitch: MLB Lining Up For a Battle of Big Market vs Small Market Teams
Aug13

First Pitch: MLB Lining Up For a Battle of Big Market vs Small Market Teams

All eyes are on a great playoff race, where the Pittsburgh Pirates have moved 1.5 games up from the St. Louis Cardinals in the top Wild Card spot, and have pulled to 1.5 games back from the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. Every game will be big from this point forward, but the upcoming games against Detroit and Washington this week will be crucial, as they stand in the beginning of a tough schedule the rest of the...

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First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin
Aug12

First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin

A few weeks ago I wrote that the biggest priority for the Pittsburgh Pirates should be re-signing Russell Martin at the end of the year. On Sunday, Neal Huntington talked about a few of the catchers in the system, and also commented on the possible market for Martin this off-season. The comment was made when discussing Tony Sanchez and his improvements towards being a starter. That raised concerns that the Pirates were setting up for...

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First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders
Aug11

First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders

If you look at the season numbers, the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have the best results from their starting rotation. They rank middle of the pack in ERA and xFIP, and rank last in the majors in WAR. However, the season numbers don’t really tell the story of the current rotation. The season numbers include Wandy Rodriguez. They include struggles from Francisco Liriano before the All-Star break. They don’t include full...

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First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015
Aug10

First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015

We’ve written a lot this week about the catcher position, with a few articles on Elias Diaz having a breakout season in Altoona, along with some focus on a few lower level players who are having good seasons. The Pittsburgh Pirates have collected a lot of catching prospects, especially in the lower levels. The result is that they’re looking at a lot of tough roster decisions in Bradenton and West Virginia next year. They...

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