First Pitch: Five Popular Prospects and When They Might Be Promoted

In the last few weeks the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a lot of prospect promotions. Gerrit Cole was promoted to the majors. Andrew Lambo and Stolmy Pimentel moved up to Triple-A. This week saw Nick Kingham and Gregory Polanco get promotions to Altoona. With half of the minor league season in the books, we should start seeing more and more moves. I get asked “When will Player A be promoted?” all the time, and the truth is,...

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First Pitch: Locke’s Anti-Regression, Cumpton a Bonus, and Jamestown

I didn’t have one specific thing I wanted to write about, but a few notes I was thinking about. So I went with more of a notes column, with three different topics below. **About a month ago we were talking about Jeff Locke being a regression candidate going forward. That sparked the usual responses of “what if Locke is the exception and outperforms his FIP all year?” Well, he isn’t the exception. Locke has been...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Have Had Some Amazing Starting Pitching Depth

Earlier today I was recording a podcast with James Santelli and Tom Bragg, talking about the rotation, and what moves would need to be made once guys like Jeanmar Gomez, James McDonald, and Wandy Rodriguez returned. Most of the conversation surrounded the fact that the Pirates were about to have too many starters for the rotation. A few hours later, I was writing an article wondering who the Pirates could use to start Saturday’s...

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First Pitch: The Important Lower Tiers in the Prospect Rankings

For the last few years we’ve been hearing the same thing over and over about the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system. They’re very top-heavy, but the system lacks depth. It was never clear what that meant. Did it mean they didn’t have guys in the upper levels who could take over in the majors in the next year or two? If so, then I think the 2013 season is proving that theory wrong. I feel it meant that they had A...

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First Pitch: So Many Things Are Going Right For the Pirates

I wanted to keep this more of a notes article tonight, jotting down a few thoughts I had throughout the evening. A lot of things happened tonight which had me thinking about all of the things going right for the Pirates right now. **Gerrit Cole made his major league debut, and was fantastic. You could make an argument that he could have been better. He was giving up more hits than you’d want to see, but overall I think it would...

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First Pitch: Is Gerrit Cole the Most Important Player For the Pirates Going Forward?

When Gerrit Cole makes his major league debut today, it will be the first time the Pirates have graduated their top prospect to the majors since 2010 with Pedro Alvarez. Since then the system has been led by Jameson Taillon (2011) and Cole (2012, 2013). We’ve seen other prospects come up between then and now, but promoting the top prospect in the system is a bit different. Cole is also a bit different than when the Pirates...

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