• 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...

  • First Pitch: Bryan Morris in Triple-A Might Not Be a Bad Idea

    Bryan Morris was optioned to Triple-A today. One day after we learned that Bryan Morris had a fourth option year, the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned Morris to Triple-A. It's coincidental in the way that it played out. Baseball America reported the players with additional option years yesterday. The Pirates and Morris had known...

  • First Pitch: Tarantino-ing the Poor Bench Moves Over the Last Few Years

    If there's one move that the Pirates have made which I've constantly disagreed with, it's their approach with bench players. The Pirates have a horrible habit of giving out bench spots to aging veterans, while passing over their own internal options. I was reminded of this with today's trade. I initially decided to...

  • First Pitch: The 2011 Draft is the Exact Opposite of the 2009 Draft

    In 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of money on prep pitchers in the middle rounds. The hope was that one of those pitchers could one day emerge as a top of the rotation option, which is something the Pirates hadn't seen in their system for a long time. So far...

  • First Pitch: Today’s Cuts Bring Up the Hanrahan Trade Again

    Mark Melancon was one of the main pieces in the Joel Hanrahan trade. The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first round of cuts today at the major league level. Two of the players who were cut were Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimentel, who made up half of the return for Joel Hanrahan over...

  • First Pitch: Phil Irwin a Serious Contender For the Rotation?

    Heading into Spring Training, the 5th starter battle seemed to be a two-man race. There was Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson, with guys like Jonathan Sanchez and Jeanmar Gomez competing, but both having an outside shot of making the team as a starter. So far Locke and McPherson haven't stepped up, and...

  • First Pitch: Some Early Thoughts From Big League Camp

    A lot can happen in the next three and a half weeks to shape up the Opening Day roster. We've only seen a small sample size from each player here, and while some players are standing out, it's important to keep that perspective about the lack of playing time. That said, here...

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