First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin
Aug12

First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin

A few weeks ago I wrote that the biggest priority for the Pittsburgh Pirates should be re-signing Russell Martin at the end of the year. On Sunday, Neal Huntington talked about a few of the catchers in the system, and also commented on the possible market for Martin this off-season. The comment was made when discussing Tony Sanchez and his improvements towards being a starter. That raised concerns that the Pirates were setting up for...

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First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders
Aug11

First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders

If you look at the season numbers, the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have the best results from their starting rotation. They rank middle of the pack in ERA and xFIP, and rank last in the majors in WAR. However, the season numbers don’t really tell the story of the current rotation. The season numbers include Wandy Rodriguez. They include struggles from Francisco Liriano before the All-Star break. They don’t include full...

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First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015
Aug10

First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015

We’ve written a lot this week about the catcher position, with a few articles on Elias Diaz having a breakout season in Altoona, along with some focus on a few lower level players who are having good seasons. The Pittsburgh Pirates have collected a lot of catching prospects, especially in the lower levels. The result is that they’re looking at a lot of tough roster decisions in Bradenton and West Virginia next year. They...

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First Pitch: McCutchen, Walker, and the Risk of Unnecessary Contract Extensions
Aug09

First Pitch: McCutchen, Walker, and the Risk of Unnecessary Contract Extensions

Earlier today, Mike Petriello wrote an article over at ESPN looking at the curse of the contract extension. Petriello pointed out a lot of big extensions that were given out from 2010-2014, well before an extension was needed. A lot of those extensions are now backfiring, such as Ryan Howard’s five-year, $125 M deal, and Joey Votto’s ten-year, $225 M deal, which is currently in year one and is seeing Votto miss a lot of...

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First Pitch: Is Diaz the Number One Catcher? When Will Glasnow Be Promoted?
Aug08

First Pitch: Is Diaz the Number One Catcher? When Will Glasnow Be Promoted?

Tonight I’ve got some thoughts on two prospects in the system who have been performing very well this year. One of the prospects has been a bit of a breakout (Elias Diaz), while the other is just continuing to impress and move up the top prospect lists (Tyler Glasnow). The two topics are largely inspired by questions I’ve gotten on these two players, but we also wrote about both guys today, so I felt it was a good time to...

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First Pitch: The Red Flags Surrounding Gerrit Cole’s Rehab
Aug07

First Pitch: The Red Flags Surrounding Gerrit Cole’s Rehab

Earlier today, Clint Hurdle announced that Gerrit Cole would pitch another bullpen session, and then would make a third rehab start. As Ryan Palencer wrote on Tuesday night, Cole’s second outing didn’t go so well. It wasn’t just the stat line, but the fact that he dropped his velocity in the later innings. Overall, there are a lot of red flags surrounding the right-hander, and it’s not looking good for a quick...

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