First Pitch: The 2009 Draft Class Lacking Impact Talent

Today we finished up the Bradenton Marauders recap, which means we’ve wrapped up all of the prep pitchers from the 2009 draft. There are still players from the 2009 draft to cover in the upper levels of the farm system. However, since a bulk of the draft was focused on those prep pitchers, this would be a good time to review the draft. Before we begin, a reminder on my strategy for evaluating a draft. You can evaluate a draft at...

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First Pitch: Stolen Bases Are a Problem, But Not the Big Problem

It’s not a surprise to me that the Pirates haven’t been placing much emphasis on the running game this year. They’ve been taking that approach in the minors the last few years, having pitchers focus on the batter at the plate, rather than holding the runner on first base. It makes sense from a development standpoint. You want a young pitcher to work on repeating his delivery and executing his pitches, not shortening...

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First Pitch: Bad Scheduling Decision

It would have been impossible to predict a year in advance that it was going to rain in Chicago tonight. That’s about how long ago it has been since the 2012 MLB schedule came out. However, it wouldn’t have been impossible to plan for the possibility of rain. Baseball schedules constantly have getaway days built in to the schedule. Just look at the next few weeks for the Pirates. Their game on Thursday against Milwaukee?...

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First Pitch: The Dismal Tide

“You know, if you’d have told me 20 years ago I’d see children walking the streets of our Texas towns with green hair, bones in their noses, I just flat-out wouldn’t have believed you.” “Signs and wonders. But I think once you quit hearing ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am,’ the rest is soon to foller.” “Oh, it’s the tide. It’s the dismal tide. It is not the one...

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First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas over the off-season, looking at each player for values other than offense. So far on the season, both players have put up some horrible offensive numbers. Yet each is getting playing time. Barmes is getting playing time because of his defense. His 17.5 UZR/150 leads all qualified major league shortstops. Barajas is getting time mostly for his ability to work well with the...

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First Pitch: The Disappointing Results Against Bad Teams

You could call it a collapse. You could call it a regression. You could use whatever word you want. I think all Pirates fans would agree that one word fits the most: disappointing. Whether the Pirates were legitimately as good as they played through the month of July, the fact is that they were 59-44 heading in to August. They probably aren’t as good as their June and July numbers, and we couldn’t expect that going...

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