• 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,...

  • First Pitch: Looking at the Grades From Huntington’s Drafts

    Every year I always purchase a copy of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. I only cover the Pirates' farm system, and while that does give me a chance to see prospects from other systems, my focus is usually on the players with the Pirates. I like the BA handbook because it shows...

  • First Pitch: Will the Pirates Make Any More Moves?

    Today the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to deals with Neil Walker and James McDonald, avoiding arbitration with each player. Outside of the pending Francisco Liriano deal, that should wrap up the key moves for the Pirates. With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in ten days, there's not much time to add...

  • First Pitch: MLB Has Two Major Problems, Only Cares About One

    There are two big problems for Major League Baseball that have come up over the last few days. The big story in all the national outlets is the most recent steroids scandal. The Miami New Times broke a story this week linking several top players to illegal steroids, including Alex Rodriguez, Gio...

  • First Pitch: Looking at the Bigger Picture

    Earlier today, Grant Brisbee of SB Nation wrote about "the perfectly whelming offseason of the Pirates". As the title indicates, the article talks about how the Pirates haven't done much this off-season, with their key additions being Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano. Or, as Brisbee puts it, "an average catcher and a...

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