First Pitch: What to do About Jonathan Sanchez in the Short-Term?

Francisco Liriano had a great start on Thursday. He threw five innings for Indianapolis, allowing one run on four hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts. Jonathan Sanchez didn’t have a good start on Friday. He was ejected from his start after allowing two homers in the first inning, then hitting Allen Craig with a pitch. For Sanchez, that wasn’t a fluke. On the season he has given up 16 earned runs in 11.1 innings....

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First Pitch: The Pirates Prospects Podcast

For the last few years I’ve debated whether to add a podcast to the site. There are already some good podcasts out there at Bucs Dugout and Rumbunter, and I wasn’t sure that I could add anything which would be different than what was already on the site. With my move to Bradenton this year, and the opportunity for more live coverage, I decided that a podcast could add to the site. Back in January I bought all of the...

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First Pitch: Thinking Back to Dylan Bundy

I happened to be thinking about Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy this afternoon at McKechnie Field. I was watching Nick Kingham long tossing from about 300 feet, throwing from the area between the mound and home plate all the way to the wall next to the 335 sign. I think about Bundy every time I see a Pirates pitching prospect long tossing from beyond 120 feet, and especially with extreme distances like Kingham today....

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First Pitch: Time to Start Looking at the Bullpen Depth

If there’s one thing the Pirates have been good at, it has been finding relievers. Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and even guys like Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro have come cheap for their production. Those bullpen scouting skills look like they will be put to the test this year. Tom Bragg wrote today about how the bullpen has been over-worked, noting that a lot of the current relievers are on pace for career innings totals. If...

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First Pitch: These Pirates Are Good, But…

In tonight’s game story, James Santelli broke down the great homestand the Pirates just had, and how impressive it was that they beat three teams who look like they’ll be heading to the playoffs this year. I thought about following up on that by looking back at what I’ve said over the last two years when the Pirates started to look promising. There have been times in each of the last two years where the Pirates have...

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First Pitch: The New Wandy Rodriguez Making Last Summer’s Trade Look Good

When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez last year at the trade deadline, I wasn’t a fan of the move. For one, I really liked Robbie Grossman’s upside. I also didn’t think Rodriguez was the same pitcher he was a few years ago. From 2008-2010, Rodriguez combined for a 3.36 ERA, along with an 8.4 K/9 and a 2.9 BB/9 ratio. Since then his strikeouts have dropped slowly, ending up about 2.0 K/9 lower than that...

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