• First Pitch: The Not-So-Great Jordy Mercer Compromise

    Jordy Mercer is getting playing time, but he should be getting most of Brandon Inge's playing time as well. Photo Credit: David Hague About two weeks ago the biggest topic surrounding Pirates baseball was the fate of Jordy Mercer. Some argued that he should have remained in the majors, with John McDonald...

  • First Pitch: Who Pirates Draft and Who Fans Want, Might Not Be The Same

    Since taking over the draft coverage on the site this year, I have learned one thing that is pretty clear. Unless you're picking at the top of the draft class, there is nothing close to a consensus. That is especially true with the Pittsburgh Pirates two first round picks this year. There...

  • First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

    Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager's office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt. Neal Huntington became Trader Neal to get a lot of young players in his early years. No, that's not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates'...

  • First Pitch: Runs Tough to Come By in Burnett Starts

    A.J. Burnett has pitched like a staff ace so far in 2013 but does not have the record to show for it. The Pirates scored three or fewer runs in seven of A.J. Burnett's 10 starts prior to Friday. Photo Credit: David Hague Granted, wins and losses are not good statistics to...

  • First Pitch: This Year is Different Because of the Depth

    Jeanmar Gomez represents the biggest strength of the 2013 Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague) After recording the podcast today, I was talking with James and Tom about depth. We were specifically talking about the Dodgers, and how despite their mega payroll, they don't really have a good team. They've had a lot...

  • First Pitch: Do the Pirates Need to Make Any Trades This Year?

    Earlier this week Jon Morosi of Fox Sports wrote that the Pirates needed to add some depth at the trade deadline, especially for their over-worked bullpen. It's probably too early to talk about deadline strategies, since the deadline is over two months away, and most trades don't start happening until late June....

  • First Pitch: Jeff Locke and the Defense of FIP

    I'm a big Louis CK fan. I've mentioned this at times on the site, or on Twitter, and especially on Facebook. Although I don't really make my Facebook page public, so you'll just have to trust me on that one. I think I've grown to like Louis CK even more in the...

  • First Pitch: Some Tough Questions to Answer in the Upcoming Prospect Rankings

    A question I get a lot these days is "why isn't Stetson Allie in your top 20?" The answer is that we don't update the top 20 until after the MLB draft. The rankings that we display on the Prospect Watch each night are the pre-season rankings. There have been a few...

  • First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

    Jeff Locke was one of the four pitchers known as The Altoona Four. In 2010 the Altoona Curve had a group of pitchers that went on to be called "The Altoona Four" out of convenience. I say convenience because the group led Altoona to an Eastern League title in 2010, but they...

  • First Pitch: Should Jose Tabata Be the Everyday Right Fielder?

    Jose Tabata has been better against right-handers than Travis Snider so far. Photo Credit: David Hague So far this season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been using Travis Snider most of the time against right-handers. However, when a lefty is on the mound, Snider is on the bench. On the season Snider has...

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