First Pitch: The New Draft System is Growing on Me
Jul12

First Pitch: The New Draft System is Growing on Me

This is the second year that the MLB draft has operated under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Pirates didn’t really experience the new system last year, mostly because Mark Appel fell to them and didn’t sign. This year was more of a “normal” draft under the new system, if you can say anything is normal after just two years. Because it was a more common draft under the new system, we get a chance to...

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First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons
Jul11

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

Last night I wrote about how the problem with the Pirates offense this year has been that three positions in the lineup struggle against left-handed pitching. Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and the right-field duo of Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have all struggled against lefties this year. Platoons are very underrated. Or should I say the left-handed side of the platoon is underrated. Just look at a lot of the comments about Gaby...

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First Pitch: The Problem With the Pirates Offense
Jul10

First Pitch: The Problem With the Pirates Offense

Dave Cameron of FanGraphs had a few interesting tweets about the Pirates offense this morning. I keep hearing that the Pirates can't hit. Their non-pitchers have the 11th best wRC+ in baseball. http://t.co/X8M0Jytf3b — David Cameron (@DCameronFG) July 9, 2013 Of the eight PIT batters with 200+ PA, seven of them have been above average offensively this year. http://t.co/IgO2equ0HN — David Cameron (@DCameronFG) July 9,...

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First Pitch: Brandon Inge is a Leader, But the Pirates Have Different Needs
Jul09

First Pitch: Brandon Inge is a Leader, But the Pirates Have Different Needs

Brandon Inge has started the last two games with Neil Walker out. Brandon Inge also had a .190 average and a .464 OPS coming into tonight’s game. It’s not like there’s a lot of upside to be had there either. Inge had a combined .606 OPS in the last two years. He has strong defensive skills on the field, and that’s about the extent of his value. Well, unless you count his leadership skills. At this point the...

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First Pitch: What Led to Last Year’s Collapse and Why This Year Is Different
Jul08

First Pitch: What Led to Last Year’s Collapse and Why This Year Is Different

The Pirates have lost four of their last six games, losing a series each to the Phillies and Cubs. That sent the team plummeting to having the best record in baseball still, even after those losses. Yet, as with any loss, the word “collapse” gets thrown around, as if losing a series is something that could only mean a collapse, rather than just something that happens to every team. The “collapse” term gets...

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First Pitch: How Are Last Month’s Promoted Prospects Doing at New Levels?
Jul07

First Pitch: How Are Last Month’s Promoted Prospects Doing at New Levels?

About a month ago the Pirates made a ton of promotions throughout the minor league system. The promotions saw several prospects moving up in the system, plus the 2013 debut of Luis Heredia in West Virginia. With about a month in the books for all of these moves, now would be a good time to get some first impressions. None of these guys have accumulated enough playing time to the point where their stats say a lot about their potential....

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