First Pitch: Why Advanced Stats Are Better Than Traditional Stats

If you’ve read this site for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that we use the WAR stat. A lot. The trade values series is based off WAR (although that wasn’t originally designed by us). We point out WAR when talking about the overall value of a player in a given season, or to compare two different players. We use WAR when estimating what a player will receive through the arbitration process. The WAR stat...

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First Pitch: Would You Rather Have Polanco/Hanson or Chase Headley?

Jim Bowden had an article at ESPN talking about how the San Diego Padres should trade Chase Headley right now. In the article he listed the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of two teams with a moderate chance of landing Headley, noting that a package of Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson could get the deal done. Bowden does a lot of these types of articles. He takes a player who isn’t necessarily on the market, then takes a group of teams...

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First Pitch: The Starting Pitching Depth

With yesterday’s news that the Pirates were adding Jonathan Sanchez, and today’s news that they’re still on track to sign Francisco Liriano, the starting pitching scene is getting crowded. Here is a breakdown of all the options who are either currently on the team, or in the case of Sanchez/Liriano, expected to sign. Guarantees for the Rotation A.J. Burnett - Burnett had a 3.51 ERA in 202.1 innings last year, and his...

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First Pitch: Francisco Liriano vs Jonathan Sanchez

When the news came out that the Pittsburgh Pirates were close to an agreement with left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, my initial reaction was that he was very similar to Francisco Liriano. It started out as a basic comparison. They were both left-handed pitchers coming off down seasons with control issues, high strikeouts, and they were each a few years removed from a great season. The Liriano signing has been crazy. The Pirates...

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First Pitch: Looking at the Grades From Huntington’s Drafts

Every year I always purchase a copy of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. I only cover the Pirates’ farm system, and while that does give me a chance to see prospects from other systems, my focus is usually on the players with the Pirates. I like the BA handbook because it shows what other teams have in their system, which gives you some perspective on how the individual Pirates players stack up to players on other teams....

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First Pitch: Will the Pirates Make Any More Moves?

Today the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to deals with Neil Walker and James McDonald, avoiding arbitration with each player. Outside of the pending Francisco Liriano deal, that should wrap up the key moves for the Pirates. With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in ten days, there’s not much time to add any remaining pieces to the roster. Looking at each position below, it looks like the Pirates have filled all of...

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