• First Pitch: Who Could Step Into the Rotation if Wandy Goes on the DL?

    At the start of the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates looked to have a great situation at the top of their rotation. A.J. Burnett had made 31+ starts each year since 2008. Wandy Rodriguez had made 30+ starts each year since 2009. They looked like guys who could give the Pirates a full...

  • First Pitch: When Should the Pirates Consider Pedro Alvarez a Platoon Player?

    When should the Pirates consider Alvarez a platoon player? Photo credit: David Hague Back in early February, when Brandon Inge was signed, I raised the question of whether Pedro Alvarez should be a platoon player. Not much has happened between that article and now, other than eight regular season at-bats against left-handers....

  • First Pitch: No One Is Hitting, Let’s Over-React

    It was almost one year ago today that I wrote this article. The Pirates had played seven games, getting off to a 2-5 start. They had been shut out twice, and only scored more than two runs in one of those games. So far, the 2013 season looks to be starting off...

  • First Pitch: Who Should Bat Second?

    Russell Martin is one of three hitters who have hit second in the first four games. Photo credit: David Hague At the end of Spring Training, the Pittsburgh Pirates started using Garrett Jones as a number two hitter. I wrote about the topic during the final week, and noted that Clint Hurdle...

  • First Pitch: Bringing the Designated Hitter to the National League

    Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball had an article today talking about why the DH is likely coming to the National League. Brown notes that the DH seems inevitable now that there are 15 teams in each league, and interleague play all year long. He also notes some of the roadblocks, such...

  • First Pitch: Why Can’t the Pirates Have a Free Spending Billionaire Owner?

    I woke up this morning to a discussion on Twitter about a hypothetical billionaire owner who could buy the Pirates, invest his life savings into building a winner, all while ignoring the financial losses year after year. The conversation stemmed from last night's article in the Trib about how Bob Nutting is...

  • First Pitch: Can the Pirates Get Impact Talent to the Upper Levels?

    Gregory Polanco (left) and Alen Hanson (right) will try to repeat their 2012 seasons at the next level, and eventually try to make the successful jump to the upper levels. Today I previewed the 2013 Indianapolis Indians and Altoona Curve. Tomorrow I'll go over the Bradenton Marauders and the West Virginia Power....

  • First Pitch: The Pirates Need to Play Travis Snider

    Travis Snider was on the bench today in favor of Gaby Sanchez. We're one game into the season, and already there's a decision made by Clint Hurdle to second guess. The Pirates started Gaby Sanchez over Travis Snider today, putting Garrett Jones in right field. The lineup was announced yesterday, and I...

  • First Pitch: The Ripple Effect of Small Major League Moves

    A lot of the time when the Pirates make minor moves at the Major League level, they're dismissed as not being a big deal. The club traded for John McDonald, rather than adding Jordy Mercer or Ivan De Jesus Jr. to the active roster. Looking at that move individually, it's not a...

  • First Pitch: Decision Day For Jonathan Sanchez

    The Pirates have to make a decision on Jonathan Sanchez. Today is the deadline for the Pittsburgh Pirates to make a decision on left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez wants to be a starter, and the Pirates have to either add him to the active roster, or grant him his release. Coincidentally, he's also...

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