• First Pitch: Projecting 81-84 Wins for the 2013 Pirates Using ZiPS

    Today the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections were released on FanGraphs. The projections included WAR estimates for every player. It's difficult to get a season projection out of these results. The playing time for each player isn't exactly accurate. For example, Clint Barmes, Chase d'Arnaud, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer are all...

  • First Pitch: A Garrett Jones Trade Might Not Be a Guarantee

    Throughout most of the off-season, it seemed inevitable that the Pittsburgh Pirates would trade Joel Hanrahan. There also seemed to be a strong possibility that Garrett Jones could be traded. In both cases we heard plenty of rumors about each player. Both players were due for a raise in arbitration. There was...

  • First Pitch: What Are the Alternatives if the Liriano Deal Falls Through?

    Back on December 21st, the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a two-year deal with left-hander Francisco Liriano. The deal has yet to be finalized, and we learned the other day that Liriano suffered an injury to his right arm, which is holding up the deal. It seems the deal could go either way...

  • First Pitch: Where Would the Farm System Be Without Cole and Taillon?

    Yesterday, Jim Callis wrote that he had the Pittsburgh Pirates as his 8th best farm system. That brought up a discussion on Twitter tonight about the quality of the system. I missed the original discussion. I was driving across Florida all day, finalizing things for this year's coverage (aka, making sure I...

  • First Pitch: The Five Players That Represent a Microcosm of Neal Huntington’s Abilities

    At the end of the 2012 season I wrote that 2013 was the make or break year for Neal Huntington and the current management group. When the group arrived in the 2007-08 off-season, the system was a wreck. There were hardly any prospects in the system, and very few players at the...

  • First Pitch: The Draft Compensation System is Still Broken

    Last year the Collective Bargaining Agreement introduced some changes to the free agent compensation system. The system was overhauled, drastically reducing the amount of compensation picks that would be awarded. Here were the key changes: **Previously there were Type A and Type B free agents. A player was eligible for compensation if...

  • First Pitch: Killing Your Giancarlo Stanton Dreams

    I've been asked a few times over the last couple of days what it would cost for Giancarlo Stanton. Recently there have been a few rumors that the Marlins would listen on Stanton. These sound very similar to the Justin Upton rumors that always come up. A young superstar is mentioned in...

  • First Pitch: The Impact of Losing the Astros

    Buster Olney has been doing his top ten lists at ESPN, naming his top rotations, infields, outfields, and so on. The Pirates haven't been on any list, but I did see something interesting at the bottom of his infield article (Insider subscription required). Olney had a simulation from AccuScore showing the impact...

  • First Pitch: 13 Boom or Bust Players Who Could Make a Difference in 2013

    The 2013 roster is starting to take shape. There are still a few off-season questions that remain unanswered. Will the Pirates trade Garrett Jones? Who will win the 5th starter job? Will the Pirates add any free agent relievers? Will they add any more free agents, period? One thing that is already...

  • First Pitch: Will a Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez Platoon Work?

    Garrett Jones is currently projected to be part of a platoon at first base. -- Image Credit: Mark Olson For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates are projected to enter the season with a platoon at one of their positions. Right now we're assuming that will be Garrett Jones...

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