First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?
Aug13

First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?

There has been a lot of talk from various Pirates writers about having the “best 25″ in Pittsburgh. You could make a strong argument that the Pirates didn’t always have the best 25 players on the active roster this year. In some cases the upgrades were minor, such as upgrading the last two spots on the bench by getting rid of John McDonald and Brandon Inge. In other cases, the upgrades were more substantial. I feel...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Aren’t Perfect, But They Are Legit Contenders
Aug12

First Pitch: The Pirates Aren’t Perfect, But They Are Legit Contenders

At this point in the season, a lot has been established in baseball. That ranges from the players, to the teams, and even to the fans. For example, for a surprisingly large group of Pirates fans, we’ve established that the Pirates can’t lose 3-4 games in a row without hearing the word “collapse”. I’d extend that beyond four losses in a row, but the Pirates haven’t lost more than four games in a row...

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First Pitch: Limiting Gerrit Cole’s Innings Down the Stretch
Aug11

First Pitch: Limiting Gerrit Cole’s Innings Down the Stretch

There has been some speculation the last few days that the Pirates could skip Gerrit Cole’s next start, going with a four man rotation for the next week due to the off-day on Monday. The Pirates could skip Cole’s start and keep everyone else on five days rest. That would allow them to reduce Cole’s innings, which is going to be a concern down the stretch. Neal Huntington has said that he believes Cole can finish the...

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First Pitch: Is the “Proven Closer” Era Over?
Aug10

First Pitch: Is the “Proven Closer” Era Over?

This morning Mike Petriello of ESPN Insider wrote an article about how the closer myth is dying. Petriello pointed out that a lot of top teams this year have gone the cheap route with their closers. Atlanta and Los Angeles are using closers brought up through the farm system. Boston, Detroit, and Oakland are using free agent relievers who weren’t signed as closers, although Boston definitely tried to add “Proven...

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First Pitch: Putting Neal Huntington’s Amazing Off-Season in Perspective

There was a lot of talk today about the big off-season moves the Pittsburgh Pirates made. Most of that discussion probably stemmed from a question by David Todd on Twitter, asking people to rank the big three off-season additions. It was only after David asked this that I got a few similar questions. I’m not going to discuss tonight my feelings on who was the better addition out of Mark Melancon (for 4 years), Francisco Liriano...

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First Pitch: How Many Teams Around MLB Would Charlie Morton Start For?
Aug08

First Pitch: How Many Teams Around MLB Would Charlie Morton Start For?

I’ve talked about Charlie Morton a lot in the last week, arguing that he deserves to be in the starting rotation. There are plenty of anti-Morton Pirates fans who feel that Morton shouldn’t even be on the team. His strong overall numbers are chalked up to being a fluke, and his bad starts are highlighted. In short, if Charlie Morton is doing well this year, it’s just a small sample size, but a smaller sample of one...

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