First Pitch: Is Jeff Karstens Over-Rated or Under-Rated?

Back at the end of November the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendered right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens. The move was pretty controversial at the time. Karstens was projected to make $3.8 M through arbitration and was coming off a pretty good year when he was healthy. The starter posted a 3.97 ERA in 90.2 innings, with a 6.55 K/9, a 1.49 BB/9, and an 0.79 HR/9. The problem was that Karstens couldn’t stay healthy. Ultimately...

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First Pitch: Technical Difficulties

I was going to write about Jeff Karstens tonight, or about the ridiculous contract given to Rafael Soriano by the Washington Nationals (two years, $28 M, plus they lose a first round pick). However, I didn’t have much time today since I was busy fixing some technical difficulties on the site. Early this afternoon I noticed that Chrome was bringing up a malware warning. However, Google Webmaster Tools wasn’t showing an...

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First Pitch: Projecting 81-84 Wins for the 2013 Pirates Using ZiPS

Today the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections were released on FanGraphs. The projections included WAR estimates for every player. It’s difficult to get a season projection out of these results. The playing time for each player isn’t exactly accurate. For example, Clint Barmes, Chase d’Arnaud, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer are all projected for 475+ plate appearances. Based on last year’s totals, those...

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First Pitch: A Garrett Jones Trade Might Not Be a Guarantee

Throughout most of the off-season, it seemed inevitable that the Pittsburgh Pirates would trade Joel Hanrahan. There also seemed to be a strong possibility that Garrett Jones could be traded. In both cases we heard plenty of rumors about each player. Both players were due for a raise in arbitration. There was a good reason behind the idea of a trade for each player. But that didn’t mean they were both guaranteed to be traded....

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First Pitch: What Are the Alternatives if the Liriano Deal Falls Through?

Back on December 21st, the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a two-year deal with left-hander Francisco Liriano. The deal has yet to be finalized, and we learned the other day that Liriano suffered an injury to his right arm, which is holding up the deal. It seems the deal could go either way at this point. The Pirates could still finalize the deal and Liriano could pitch for them in 2013. The deal could also fall through. It all depends...

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First Pitch: Where Would the Farm System Be Without Cole and Taillon?

Yesterday, Jim Callis wrote that he had the Pittsburgh Pirates as his 8th best farm system. That brought up a discussion on Twitter tonight about the quality of the system. I missed the original discussion. I was driving across Florida all day, finalizing things for this year’s coverage (aka, making sure I have a place to live down here). From what I gathered from scanning over the discussion was that there was a debate over the...

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