First Pitch: The Moves the Pirates Will Have to Make This Week
Jun23

First Pitch: The Moves the Pirates Will Have to Make This Week

The Pittsburgh Pirates will get a boost this week, seeing two of their top players returning. Neil Walker has been a hot hitter this year, and is expected back on Tuesday. Gerrit Cole is expected to re-join the rotation this weekend. That combination means the Pirates will have to make a few moves this week. Those moves could include a decision on Travis Snider or Jose Tabata, and the demotion of one of three starting pitchers who are...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Are Stockpiling Shortstop Prospects
Jun22

First Pitch: The Pirates Are Stockpiling Shortstop Prospects

Today I was working on the GCL Preview, and noticed how many shortstops the Pirates have at the level. The main guy to watch this year will be 2014 first round pick Cole Tucker, although there are some other promising guys at the same level. Sam Kennelly received $225,000 out of Australia, and started the first two games while Tucker gets ready for his season to begin. Nelson Jorge was taken in the draft this year, and has the skills...

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First Pitch: When Do the Pirates Promote Their Pitching Prospects?
Jun21

First Pitch: When Do the Pirates Promote Their Pitching Prospects?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have invested a lot of money into pitching prospects, especially through the MLB draft. They seem to have a very systematic way of moving guys through the system, with the innings at each level being a key trend to determine when a pitcher might move up. Ultimately, a player will only move up when he’s ready from a developmental standpoint. If he has the innings, but isn’t ready to move up, he...

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First Pitch: It’s Time For the Pirates to Make a Switch at Closer
Jun20

First Pitch: It’s Time For the Pirates to Make a Switch at Closer

Earlier today, Max Fogle wrote about the struggles that Jason Grilli has been having this year, breaking down some of the key problems that might be leading to the poor results. It was actually an article that Max had written before today’s game, and was originally set to go up tomorrow morning. However, with the blown save this afternoon, it seemed like an appropriate topic to discuss sooner, rather than later. Grilli...

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First Pitch: Where Will Josh Harrison Play When Neil Walker Returns?
Jun19

First Pitch: Where Will Josh Harrison Play When Neil Walker Returns?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to have a tough decision on their hands shortly. Neil Walker will be returning soon, which means the team will need to find a spot for Josh Harrison to get playing time. Last month, I wrote about Harrison’s hot streak, and where he might find time once Gregory Polanco arrived. That question was put on hold when Walker went to the disabled list. Polanco came up to take Walker’s spot on the...

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First Pitch: Looking at the Remaining Pirates Over-Slot Draft Candidates
Jun18

First Pitch: Looking at the Remaining Pirates Over-Slot Draft Candidates

If there’s one thing the new CBA got right, it’s the process of signing draft picks. There are no more games, and no more delays. Teams can sign any player at any time for any amount of money, with no delays from MLB holding back over-slot deals, and no games by players and advisers waiting until the deadline. The result is that the Pirates have 30 picks signed about two weeks after the MLB draft, including everyone in the...

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