First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…
Sep28

First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…

Tonight may have been the final start for A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uniform. There’s the chance that he could pitch in the playoffs, but that can only happen if the Pirates win the Wild Card game against the Reds on Tuesday. There’s a chance he could return next year, but that’s not a guarantee. If this was the final start for Burnett, then he went out with a bang. He absolutely dominated the Reds, putting the...

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First Pitch: The Biggest Story in the Pirates Minor League System This Year
Sep27

First Pitch: The Biggest Story in the Pirates Minor League System This Year

This afternoon I had a radio interview with Daniel Dudley of TribLIVE Radio, which has pretty much been a weekly thing each Thursday afternoon this season. Today Dan asked me a question I was all too prepared for, and not because I knew it was coming. The question actually surprised me, but it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot this year. I was asked how this season has felt as someone who has followed the farm...

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First Pitch: The Six Year Plan, and the Next Six Years
Sep26

First Pitch: The Six Year Plan, and the Next Six Years

Six years ago, on September 25th, 2007, the Pittsburgh Pirates hired Neal Huntington to be their new General Manager. Six years later, that looks like one of the most important moves the team has made. When Huntington took over, the Pirates had almost nothing to work with. Their farm system had Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. There were guys who would later be developed into major league players, like Starling Marte and Tony Watson,...

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First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft
Sep25

First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft

In 2008 Jay Bruce made it to the majors and hit 21 home runs in 413 at-bats, finishing fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Bruce was taken one pick after Andrew McCutchen, which had people questioning the selection of McCutchen. At the time, McCutchen was in the middle of a season where he had a .770 OPS in Triple-A. Bruce remains a good player, but McCutchen has turned into an MVP. Justin Smoak reached the majors in April of...

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First Pitch: Proud to Be Part of an Amazing Pirates Community
Sep24

First Pitch: Proud to Be Part of an Amazing Pirates Community

When I started this site in 2009, I just wanted a place to keep track of the payroll, option years, and a place to post updates from my trips to Lynchburg to see Pedro Alvarez. Only about 50 people read the site at the time, with a majority of them coming from the Pirates MLB.com message board. Like most people who lived outside of the Pittsburgh area, I took to online forums and blogs to keep in contact with Pirates fans....

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First Pitch: Jeff Locke’s Season Should Be Over
Sep23

First Pitch: Jeff Locke’s Season Should Be Over

Jeff Locke had a bad day. The left-hander gave up five runs in the first inning to the Cincinnati Reds, putting the Pirates deep in a hole in an important game for their playoff chances. Jeff Locke has had a bad second half. Since his last start in July, Locke has a 7.42 ERA in 44.2 innings, including today’s outing. During that time he only made it 6+ innings once. He had a few decent starts, and one dominant outing against the...

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