• First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

    Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager’s office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt. No, that’s not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates’ minor-league system in shambles despite six straight Top-11 picks, but at least a couple of those...

  • First Pitch: Runs Tough to Come By in Burnett Starts

    A.J. Burnett has pitched like a staff ace so far in 2013 but does not have the record to show for it. Granted, wins and losses are not good statistics to judge a pitcher’s performance but what is troubling has less to do with Burnett and more to do with the Pirates...

  • First Pitch: This Year is Different Because of the Depth

    After recording the podcast today, I was talking with James and Tom about depth. We were specifically talking about the Dodgers, and how despite their mega payroll, they don’t really have a good team. They’ve had a lot of injuries, but who do they have behind those big salaries? Hanley Ramirez goes...

  • First Pitch: Do the Pirates Need to Make Any Trades This Year?

    Earlier this week Jon Morosi of Fox Sports wrote that the Pirates needed to add some depth at the trade deadline, especially for their over-worked bullpen. It’s probably too early to talk about deadline strategies, since the deadline is over two months away, and most trades don’t start happening until late June....

  • First Pitch: Jeff Locke and the Defense of FIP

    I’m a big Louis CK fan. I’ve mentioned this at times on the site, or on Twitter, and especially on Facebook. Although I don’t really make my Facebook page public, so you’ll just have to trust me on that one. I think I’ve grown to like Louis CK even more in the...

  • First Pitch: Some Tough Questions to Answer in the Upcoming Prospect Rankings

    A question I get a lot these days is “why isn’t Stetson Allie in your top 20?” The answer is that we don’t update the top 20 until after the MLB draft. The rankings that we display on the Prospect Watch each night are the pre-season rankings. There have been a few...

  • First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

    In 2010 the Altoona Curve had a group of pitchers that went on to be called “The Altoona Four” out of convenience. I say convenience because the group led Altoona to an Eastern League title in 2010, but they also led the Lynchburg Hillcats to a Carolina League title in 2009. So...

  • First Pitch: Should Jose Tabata Be the Everyday Right Fielder?

    So far this season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been using Travis Snider most of the time against right-handers. However, when a lefty is on the mound, Snider is on the bench. On the season Snider has just eight plate appearances against lefties. Guys like Jose Tabata and Brandon Inge have been getting...

  • First Pitch: I Miss the Astros, But Not the Reminder They Bring

    It’s weird seeing things from the other side. About six years ago the Pirates were exactly where the Houston Astros are right now. They were in complete rebuild mode, trying to build up a depleted farm system, and looking horrible in the majors. There’s no hope in the short-term, and it may...

  • First Pitch: Thursday Thoughts on Liriano, Martin, Wilson, Milwaukee, Sanchez

    Thursday is podcast recording day. Today it was also “Go see Luis Heredia at Pirate City” day (article coming tomorrow), and “Ten Articles Will Go Up on the Site Today” day, and “Your friends want to go to trivia at 9 PM and the Pirates are already destroying the Brewers so you...

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