• First Pitch: The Pirates Have an Easy Decision to Make With Jordy Mercer

    The decision on Jordy Mercer when Neil Walker returns is an easy one to make. Photo Credit: David Hague After Jordy Mercer's first home run today, Greg Brown said the Pirates will have a difficult decision coming up, deciding what to do with the infielder. After the second homer, Brown said the...

  • First Pitch: Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez Could be the New Moneyball

    I've talked about platoons a lot this week, first questioning whether Travis Snider should be in a platoon, then pointing out all of the different platoon candidates the Pirates have. In the process I noticed that the platoon at first base is working. Like, really well. Take a look at the numbers...

  • First Pitch: Thoughts on Curry, the Draft, Pimentel Hitting 98, and Liriano

    Thursday has become podcast day on the site. For the last three weeks I've gotten together with Tom Bragg and James Santelli to record the Pirates section of the podcast, and for the last two weeks I've also recorded sections of the show with John Eshleman and John Dreker. It's a lot...

  • First Pitch: Who Wants to Hit a Left-Hander?

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem. The team has four spots on the field which could require a platoon, due to the fact that they have so many players who can't hit left-handers. The obvious player is Garrett Jones, who is established as a platoon player at this point. In his career,...

  • First Pitch: Should Travis Snider Be Starting Against Left-Handers?

    Should Travis Snider be getting more playing time against left-handers? Photo credit: David Hague It's a question I get often: Why isn't Travis Snider starting against left-handers? Sometimes it's straight up. Sometimes it's wondering if he's really done enough to establish a trend in the majors. Sometimes it's just complaining that Brandon...

  • First Pitch: Could the Pirates be 31-23 at the End of May?

    We heard at the start of the season how the Pittsburgh Pirates had one of the toughest early season schedules in the game. Despite that schedule, the Pirates are 17-14, in second place in the NL Central, and sitting with the fifth highest winning percentage in the National League. They swept the...

  • First Pitch: There’s No Reason to Keep Andrew Lambo in Altoona

    Andrew Lambo should be in Indianapolis starting over Brett Carroll and Felix Pie. Photo Credit: David Hague. At the start of the 2013 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a lot of options in the outfield. They had to make some difficult cuts at the end of Spring Training, cutting the hot hitting...

  • First Pitch: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

    There is no reason why Mark Melancon should be handcuffed to the eighth inning. Photo by: David Hague After today's game, Clint Hurdle announced that he would only be using Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon when the team is ahead. Hurdle didn't use either reliever in the ninth inning, instead turning to...

  • First Pitch: The Road to Contending Goes Through Milwaukee

    For the past two years I've had the same thought about the Milwaukee Brewers and what they say about the Pirates' chances. The thought is always "if the Pirates can beat the Brewers, they'll show they are legit this year". Last year the Pirates went 4-11 against Milwaukee, including a 1-8 record...

  • First Pitch: Hanrahan a Recent Example of Why You Sell High on Relievers

    Joel Hanrahan has been removed as the Red Sox closer. Back when the Joel Hanrahan trade happened, there were a lot of complaints that the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't get enough in return and should have held on to Hanrahan until the trade deadline to get a better return. Today, after a rough...

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