First Pitch: Will Karstens Push Locke and McPherson to Indianapolis?

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Jeff Karstens last week, a lot of people assumed they were moving on from Francisco Liriano. Now that the team has agreed to a revised deal with Liriano, the speculation is that Karstens will take the final spot in the rotation, pushing Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson to Indianapolis at the start of the year. That theory makes sense on the surface. The Pirates are paying Karstens $2.5 M. They usually...

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First Pitch: The Long-Term Costs Of Arbitration Decisions

The Pittsburgh Pirates exchanged arbitration figures with two players today, giving us a look at what each side is asking for in each individual case. The players who exchanged figures were James McDonald and Neil Walker. The Pirates will now receive arbitration hearings with each of these players. The sides can agree to a deal anytime before that hearing. If the Pirates go to a hearing with any one of those players, an arbitration...

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First Pitch: Aggressively Ranking Prospects

Today I posted the profile for the number 12 prospect in the system, Dilson Herrera. In the write-up I mentioned that Herrera was the favorite to be the 2013 version of Alen Hanson or Gregory Polanco. In somewhat of a coincidence, Charlie at Bucs Dugout posted a review of the 2013 Prospect Guide today, and noted a few of the aggressive rankings in the book (with Herrera being one of them). I’m glad he brought that up....

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First Pitch: Is Jeff Karstens Over-Rated or Under-Rated?

Back at the end of November the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendered right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens. The move was pretty controversial at the time. Karstens was projected to make $3.8 M through arbitration and was coming off a pretty good year when he was healthy. The starter posted a 3.97 ERA in 90.2 innings, with a 6.55 K/9, a 1.49 BB/9, and an 0.79 HR/9. The problem was that Karstens couldn’t stay healthy. Ultimately...

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First Pitch: Technical Difficulties

I was going to write about Jeff Karstens tonight, or about the ridiculous contract given to Rafael Soriano by the Washington Nationals (two years, $28 M, plus they lose a first round pick). However, I didn’t have much time today since I was busy fixing some technical difficulties on the site. Early this afternoon I noticed that Chrome was bringing up a malware warning. However, Google Webmaster Tools wasn’t showing an...

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First Pitch: Projecting 81-84 Wins for the 2013 Pirates Using ZiPS

Today the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections were released on FanGraphs. The projections included WAR estimates for every player. It’s difficult to get a season projection out of these results. The playing time for each player isn’t exactly accurate. For example, Clint Barmes, Chase d’Arnaud, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer are all projected for 475+ plate appearances. Based on last year’s totals, those...

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