• First Pitch: Reviewing the Pre-Season Over/Unders

    At the start of the year I ran a few polls, asking for over/under predictions on several key topics for the 2012 Pirates season. Now that the season is over, I thought it would be a good time to look back and see the results of some of those key story lines....

  • First Pitch: Yes, The Farm System Has Been Dramatically Upgraded Since 2007

    There's been a lot of frustration with the Pittsburgh Pirates in recent weeks. The team went from 16 games over .500 at the end of July, to clinching their 20th losing season in a row on Sunday. The frustration has brought on a lot of criticism. A lot of that criticism is...

  • First Pitch: What the Losing Streak Means to Me

    When I was a kid, baseball was by far my favorite sport. I used to watch every game that was on TV, which usually consisted of the Braves on TBS, the Cubs on WGN, and the Pirates. I would keep score for every Pirates game, but at the same time I'd try...

  • First Pitch: McDonald and Karstens Should Be Locks For the 2013 Rotation

    Looking ahead to the 2013 season, there has been some talk and speculation that Pirates starters James McDonald and Jeff Karstens might not be locks for the 2013 rotation. If you ask me, both pitchers should be locks for the rotation next year. The knock against McDonald right now is that he's...

  • First Pitch: Instructional League Player Updates

    Games are underway in the Florida Instructional Leagues, and ESPN's Kiley McDaniel was covering the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. Below are some tweets from McDaniel on today's progress from some of the players, along with some of my notes below those tweets. http://twitter.com/kileymcd/status/251383411367899136 http://twitter.com/kileymcd/status/251403038080770048 My Notes: Allie definitely has some raw power....

  • First Pitch: 2013 Is the Make or Break Year for Huntington and Company

    Last September, Neal Huntington was given a three year extension, running through the 2014 season with a team option. This September was filled with questions of whether Huntington would be fired at the end of the year. Those questions picked up when the Pirates drew national attention for their Navy SEAL workouts...

  • First Pitch: Some Perspective on Prospect Rankings

    Today Baseball America released their top 20 prospects from the 2012 GCL season, which was the first league they've covered that had a Pirates affiliate. Over the next few weeks they'll cover every league that featured a Pirates minor league affiliate, which will give us a chance to see where the minor...

  • First Pitch: The Other Black Hole in the Lineup

    Last week I looked at the black hole in the lineup that is the 7-9 spots, specifically looking at how the Pirates have seen the worst offensive production in the league from non-pitchers. I wanted to continue that by taking a look at the top of the order. Going in to this...

  • First Pitch: Spending Money in Free Agency Isn’t Worth It

    A few years ago I saw Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS write an article at the end of the year talking about what he learned about the game of baseball that year. I thought it was a good approach to take. It makes sense for anyone to embrace new lines of thinking, evaluate...

  • First Pitch: There Is No Escape

    I was watching the game tonight around the seventh inning, thinking about how Kevin Correia was dealing on the mound. I've been critical of Correia this year, but the last two months he's been the least of the problems for the Pirates. In fact, he's been their best starter during that time....

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