First Pitch: Something, Something, Cliché

I love cities with a grid system. It makes driving simple. Bradenton doesn’t have a true grid system, but it’s to the point where I’ve been here a week, and I’m already to that point where you drive from home to work without really focusing on where to turn or what street to take. There are some strange things about the layout. For example, you can’t just drive down 17th Avenue to get to McKechnie. If you...

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First Pitch: Minor League Camp Officially Begins

Last year I noticed something about Pirate City. When the major league camp is there, every writer is there. When the major league camp heads over to McKechnie Field, the writers follow, and people rarely come back to Pirate City. Usually it’s just me in an empty media room, with a cooler stocked full of soda, tempting me to break my ban on drinking soda. The full roster of players reported for minor league camp today. The first...

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First Pitch: Those Lefties Are All the Same Frustrating Pitcher

Let’s take a look at four numbers tonight: 4.1 5.0 5.8 6.0 What are those numbers, you ask? They’re the career BB/9 ratios of the four left-handers who threw in today’s Spring Training game. In order, they go Tony Watson (4.1), Jonathan Sanchez (5.0), Justin Wilson (5.8), and Andrew Oliver (6.0). The numbers come with a disclaimer that not all of the pitchers have the same innings totals. Watson’s walk rate has...

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First Pitch: What Are the Expectations For Josh Bell in 2013?

Josh Bell lost a year last year, and in the process, fell off all of the national top 100 lists. Every Pirates top 10 list that I’ve seen has Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson ahead of Bell after those two had breakout seasons while Bell was out with his injury. So what can we expect in 2013 from Bell, after he missed the majority of the 2012 season? First, I don’t think that the lost season is overly damaging. Bell was a...

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First Pitch: All of the New International Player Profiles

In case you haven’t seen it before, we have a “Players” section on the site, which features profiles of every player in the system who is playing for a U.S. team. The player pages provide transaction details, salary and bonus information, and Wilbur Miller’s reports on the players over the years. When players make the jump to the US, or when a new player is signed or drafted, Wilbur creates a profile for that...

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First Pitch: On the Hurdle Extension and the First Day of Minor League Camp

When I looked at my calendar for a potential move to Bradenton, I had two choices. The week of January 20th would get me here a month before Spring Training, and I’d be settled in when pitchers and catchers reported. A month later would get me in after the first week of camp, and right before the games started. Plus I’d save a month of rent in the process. Since nothing usually happens early in camp (stretching, fielding...

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