• First Pitch: All of the New International Player Profiles

    In case you haven't seen it before, we have a "Players" section on the site, which features profiles of every player in the system who is playing for a U.S. team. The player pages provide transaction details, salary and bonus information, and Wilbur Miller's reports on the players over the years. When...

  • First Pitch: On the Hurdle Extension and the First Day of Minor League Camp

    When I looked at my calendar for a potential move to Bradenton, I had two choices. The week of January 20th would get me here a month before Spring Training, and I'd be settled in when pitchers and catchers reported. A month later would get me in after the first week of...

  • First Pitch: Mark Appel Made a Very Common Decision

    Mark Appel made his 2013 debut on Friday against Austin Kubitza -- who, like Appel, didn't sign with the Pirates. Image Courtesy: Pittsburgh Pirates Friday night saw the 2013 college season debut of a former Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick. This pick is a pitcher, and passed on signing with the Pirates over...

  • First Pitch: Upcoming Spring Training Coverage

    Spring Training started this week, and so far we've been providing coverage from a far. As I mentioned a few months ago, I'm moving to Bradenton this year and will be covering everything that is down there. When I say everything, I mean everything. Spring Training, the Marauders, the GCL Pirates, instructs,...

  • First Pitch: Platooning Pedro Alvarez

    My initial approach with the Brandon Inge news tonight was the same as any minor league signing: acknowledge that it happened and move on. Danny Knobler reported that the Pirates are close to a minor league deal with Inge, who turns 36 this season. Like 99% of minor league deals, this one...

  • First Pitch: Murphy’s Law and James McDonald in the Rotation

    James McDonald had a great first half and a horrible second half in 2012. Pittsburgh Pirates fans have a tendency to expect the worst. It's not really any fault of their own. In the last 20 years, pretty much every bad thing that could possibly happen to the team has happened. You...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

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