First Pitch: Upcoming Spring Training Coverage

Spring Training started this week, and so far we’ve been providing coverage from a far. As I mentioned a few months ago, I’m moving to Bradenton this year and will be covering everything that is down there. When I say everything, I mean everything. Spring Training, the Marauders, the GCL Pirates, instructs, mini camps, orange juice sales at Mixon’s. All of those things. But mostly the orange juice. Unfortunately my...

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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 comes with no risk, and a small chance to provide some sort of reward. For that reason, there’s not much point in analyzing what Inge could do...

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First Pitch: Murphy’s Law and James McDonald in the Rotation

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 reach a point where the team looks like a true contender in July, to the point where you actually believe it. Then the team has one of the worst collapses ever in the final two months of the year. It’s almost like the...

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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 season, or to compare two different players. We use WAR when estimating what a player will receive through the arbitration process. The WAR stat...

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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 the deal done. Bowden does a lot of these types of articles. He takes a player who isn’t necessarily on the market, then takes a group of teams...

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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 sign. Guarantees for the Rotation A.J. Burnett - Burnett had a 3.51 ERA in 202.1 innings last year, and his...

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