• First Pitch: How Can the Pirates Catch the Cardinals?

    Earlier today, John Sickels released his farm system rankings and had the Pittsburgh Pirates fifth overall. He also had the St. Louis Cardinals first overall. The Cardinals seem to be the consensus top farm system this year. I haven't received my Baseball America 2013 Prospect Handbook yet, but I've already seen that...

  • First Pitch: The FanGraphs Reports, and Luis Urena as a Sleeper

    Over the last month, Kiley McDaniel has been posting some great reports over at FanGraphs. I've been retweeting them on Twitter, but keep forgetting to link to them in the nightly First Pitch column. So here are links to all three reports, with some thoughts on each one. Gerrit Cole The first...

  • First Pitch: Some Poor Roster Management by the Pirates

    In minor news today, the Pirates lost Zach Stewart through waivers to the Chicago White Sox. It was the second time this off-season that the Pirates completed a string of moves where they traded down from a prospect and eventually arrived at next to nothing in value. In this series of moves...

  • First Pitch: Do the Pirates Have a Two-Way Catcher in Their Future?

    Jin-De Jhang Yesterday I was going over the traffic reports on the site, and noticed something interesting about the recent top 20 prospects countdown. The top three prospects, according to traffic, were Jin-De Jhang, Wyatt Mathisen, and Tony Sanchez, all in that order. I don't know why the only catchers in the...

  • First Pitch: Where Will All of the 1B/OF Options Fit?

    The Pirates have a lot of 1B/OF options, but plenty of room for all of them. -- Image Credit: Mark Olson The Pittsburgh Pirates have added a lot of 1B/OF options for their major league squad in the last year. They traded for Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez at the trade deadline....

  • First Pitch: Will Karstens Push Locke and McPherson to Indianapolis?

    Jeff Karstens won't necessarily bump Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson from the rotation. - Image Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Jeff Karstens last week, a lot of people assumed they were moving on from Francisco Liriano. Now that the team has agreed to a revised deal with Liriano, the...

  • First Pitch: The Long-Term Costs Of Arbitration Decisions

    The Pittsburgh Pirates exchanged arbitration figures with two players today, giving us a look at what each side is asking for in each individual case. The players who exchanged figures were James McDonald and Neil Walker. The Pirates will now receive arbitration hearings with each of these players. The sides can agree...

  • First Pitch: Aggressively Ranking Prospects

    Today I posted the profile for the number 12 prospect in the system, Dilson Herrera. In the write-up I mentioned that Herrera was the favorite to be the 2013 version of Alen Hanson or Gregory Polanco. In somewhat of a coincidence, Charlie at Bucs Dugout posted a review of the 2013 Prospect...

  • First Pitch: Is Jeff Karstens Over-Rated or Under-Rated?

    Back at the end of November the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendered right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens. The move was pretty controversial at the time. Karstens was projected to make $3.8 M through arbitration and was coming off a pretty good year when he was healthy. The starter posted a 3.97 ERA in 90.2 innings,...

  • First Pitch: Technical Difficulties

    I was going to write about Jeff Karstens tonight, or about the ridiculous contract given to Rafael Soriano by the Washington Nationals (two years, $28 M, plus they lose a first round pick). However, I didn't have much time today since I was busy fixing some technical difficulties on the site. Early...

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