First Pitch: All of the Warning Signs are There For a James McDonald Injury

After the first start of the year from James McDonald, I got a question. “What is up with his velocity? Is he injured?” McDonald’s velocity was down in the first game of the year. He ranged from about 87-92 MPH, but averaged 89 MPH with his fastball. Looking at this chart from FanGraphs, it was the first time in the last three seasons that he’s averaged below 90 MPH in a game. He’s only averaged 90 once....

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First Pitch: What Really Led to the Comeback by the Pirates

So if you were on Twitter during the game, you saw this. If not, here’s the story of what really led to the Pirates comeback today. James Santelli has been working on a Garrett Jones article this week, which took a lot of research and time to put together. You can check it out here:¬†Analysis: Teams Should Shift Their Infield More Against Garrett Jones. I didn’t want to upload the article during the game, since I...

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First Pitch: Depth Can Quickly Disappear

Remember at the start of the year when the Pirates had a lot of starting pitching depth? Kyle McPherson had just missed out on the fifth starter role. Phil Irwin had some impressive outings in Spring Training, and looked like he could also be an early season option. Everyone hoped that Gerrit Cole’s demotion to Triple-A would only be a formality for a few weeks until he gained that extra year of control. Then there was the...

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First Pitch: Open Writing Position at Pirates Prospects

I decided to take the night off from doing any analysis on the team in this article. I took my dad to the Penguins/Lightning game for his birthday, and when I got home I started working on tomorrow’s articles. I’ve also got double coverage tomorrow, with an extended Spring Training game at 1:00 PM, and a Marauders game at 6:30 PM. So look for a lot of coverage throughout the day tomorrow. I did want to take a moment to...

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First Pitch: The Minors Exist For a Reason

There’s one thing you notice when you cover prospects closely: there’s no middle ground with expectations and reactions. At times it seems like there are pretty much only two reactions to a prospect. If there is a good report, or a player is performing well, there are calls for a promotion. If the player has a flaw, or is going through some struggles, the reaction is doom and gloom. I don’t pay attention closely...

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First Pitch: The Downside of the New CBA Starting to Appear For the Pirates

When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement came out during the 2011-2012 off-season, I wrote about a lot of the downsides for small market teams. At the time the downside was somewhat debatable. We didn’t see how the new system would impact the Pirates at the time. There was some debate over whether the new system would hurt small market teams. Some argued that eventually teams like the Yankees and Red Sox could take their big...

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