First Pitch: Who Could Step Into the Rotation if Wandy Goes on the DL?

At the start of the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates looked to have a great situation at the top of their rotation. A.J. Burnett had made 31+ starts each year since 2008. Wandy Rodriguez had made 30+ starts each year since 2009. They looked like guys who could give the Pirates a full seasons worth of starts, while potentially putting up 200 innings each. Rodriguez left tonight’s game with tightness in his left hamstring in the...

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First Pitch: When Should the Pirates Consider Pedro Alvarez a Platoon Player?

Back in early February, when Brandon Inge was signed, I raised the question of whether Pedro Alvarez should be a platoon player. Not much has happened between that article and now, other than eight regular season at-bats against left-handers. In those at-bats, Alvarez has gone 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts today against left-handers. I’m not suggesting the Pirates should suddenly platoon...

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First Pitch: No One Is Hitting, Let’s Over-React

It was almost one year ago today that I wrote this article. The Pirates had played seven games, getting off to a 2-5 start. They had been shut out twice, and only scored more than two runs in one of those games. So far, the 2013 season looks to be starting off like the 2012 season. Horrible offense and great pitching. Somehow always getting the best pitchers a team has to offer. Having the hardest rated schedule in the early part of...

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First Pitch: Who Should Bat Second?

At the end of Spring Training, the Pittsburgh Pirates started using Garrett Jones as a number two hitter. I wrote about the topic during the final week, and noted that Clint Hurdle said the team was also looking at Neil Walker, Russell Martin, and Travis Snider as other options. He also said that they would be looking for some consistency throughout the year. So far the number two hitter hasn’t been consistent. Jones started...

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First Pitch: Bringing the Designated Hitter to the National League

Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball had an article today talking about why the DH is likely coming to the National League. Brown notes that the DH seems inevitable now that there are 15 teams in each league, and interleague play all year long. He also notes some of the roadblocks, such as the fact that adding a DH to the National League will drive up total salaries. Brown finished by saying that someone, somewhere is making the case for...

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First Pitch: Why Can’t the Pirates Have a Free Spending Billionaire Owner?

I woke up this morning to a discussion on Twitter about a hypothetical billionaire owner who could buy the Pirates, invest his life savings into building a winner, all while ignoring the financial losses year after year. The conversation stemmed from last night’s article in the Trib about how Bob Nutting is “too rational”. The article, written by Jeff Oliver, interviewed a former minority owner of the Pirates, Jay...

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