First Pitch: Ten Things I Love About Baseball – Ump Show Edition

Tonight the Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a three game series between two of the best teams in the National League. Kind of boring, right? Not exactly the type of game where you’re going for the teams. Fortunately, there was one thing that made the game watchable. The home plate umpire… Hold on a second. Let me look up his name. … Still looking. … Here we go.¬†Dan Iassogna....

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First Pitch: The Bullpen, The Depth, and The Regression

I’ve spent most of the day working on finishing up the draft rankings with John Dreker. We will be writing up the draft rankings article tomorrow, and recording the rest of the draft podcast. All of that will go up on Tuesday as we prepare for the MLB Draft on Thursday. Because I spent most of the day working on those rankings, I’m going with a “thoughts” article tonight. **How great was the bullpen tonight?...

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First Pitch: Getting the 2010 Francisco Liriano

I use the “small sample size” disclaimer a lot on this site, so it’s important to note that everything Francisco Liriano has done so far this season comes with that same disclaimer. Having said that, what Francisco Liriano has done so far is cause for some excitement. In five starts, Liriano has a 2.17 ERA in 29 innings, with a 12.1 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9 ratio. Unlike other starters who are putting up strong numbers in...

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First Pitch: Who Should the Pirates Consider For an Extension?

Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reported tonight that Scott Boras would be open to a long-term deal involving Pedro Alvarez and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the article, Biertempfel quoted Frank Coonelly and Scott Boras, who both said they’d be open to the discussions. That doesn’t mean much, since discussions are far from a deal. The more important thing is what is said during the discussions. All you need to know about Scott...

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First Pitch: Thoughts on the Bullpen, Mercer, Taillon, Cole, and the Reds

Thursday is podcast recording day, which means I spent most of my time today writing articles for the site, recording tomorrow’s show, and editing that show. Therefore, rather than a formal article, we’re going to do a Thursday thoughts article again. **Put me down as someone who isn’t concerned with the bullpen usage. If we’re talking about the middle relievers, there’s plenty of depth in Indianapolis....

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First Pitch: Are Jeanmar Gomez and Jeff Locke a Product of a Successful System?

Last night I finished my article about Jeanmar Gomez with a thought — should there be a debate between Jeanmar Gomez and Jeff Locke for the final rotation spot when Charlie Morton returns? On one side you’ve got Locke, who has a 2.45 ERA in 58.2 innings, but has a 4.30 xFIP. Locke is due for a regression mostly due to a low BABIP (.224) and a high strand rate (84.1%). The league averages are usually .290-.300 and 70%. On...

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