First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing
Feb26

First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing

Heading into the 2013 season, I was looking at Tony Sanchez as a guy who would only have value in the majors for his defense. He was showing good defensive skills in the minors, but wasn’t hitting, and that included a lack of power. Perhaps that was due to multiple broken jaws, which caused him to lose a lot of weight and muscle. Or maybe it was that he needed a change in approach. Whatever it was, Sanchez turned things around...

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First Pitch: The Lack of Third Base Depth
Feb25

First Pitch: The Lack of Third Base Depth

Today the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Brent Morel off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. The move isn’t exactly inspiring. Morel doesn’t have good offensive numbers in his time at the major league level, and that includes any platoon splits. It’s normal for a waiver claim to lack noticeable appeal. The players who are on waivers were the guys who were the 40th best player on their former team’s 40-man roster....

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First Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.
Feb21

First Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.

A few days ago, Frank Coonelly said to KDKA that he feels the current Pittsburgh Pirates team is better than the team that ended the 2013 season. I’m higher on the 2014 team than most, but I don’t think I agree with the idea that they’re better at the start of 2014 than the end of 2013. If given the choice, I’d take A.J. Burnett over Edinson Volquez, and I’d take Marlon Byrd over the combination of Jose...

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First Pitch: What Got the Pirates Here and What Will Keep Them Here
Feb20

First Pitch: What Got the Pirates Here and What Will Keep Them Here

Today, Bob Nutting met with the media, and one of the things he mentioned over and over was how the Pittsburgh Pirates need to continue to develop players from within. You’re not going to get any arguments on that approach from me. I’m a guy who believes that small market teams like the Pirates, Rays, and Athletics need to rely heavily on their farm system. They need to be giving chances to guys like Andrew Lambo, rather...

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First Pitch: A Glimpse at the Future
Feb19

First Pitch: A Glimpse at the Future

**Earlier today I wrote about Gregory Polanco and some of the defensive adjustments he made last year while he was in Bradenton. Polanco said that adjustment helped him to become a more complete outfielder. Everyone has questions about prospects, even the safe bets like Polanco. For me, Polanco becomes less of a question mark because of his skills in the outfield, and his speed. Those are two skills that translate to every level, and...

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First Pitch: Additional Proof that Andrew McCutchen is Awesome
Feb18

First Pitch: Additional Proof that Andrew McCutchen is Awesome

Most of what I write on the site involves analysis. That’s usually prospect analysis, focusing on what a player could become, or player analysis in the majors, trying to focus on the value of a player and what that player might be able to do to get more value. Because of this approach, it’s hard coming up with ideas to write about Andrew McCutchen. It’s not really hard to come up with ideas. It’s just that...

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