• First Pitch: Who Wants to Hit a Left-Hander?

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem. The team has four spots on the field which could require a platoon, due to the fact that they have so many players who can’t hit left-handers. The obvious player is Garrett Jones, who is established as a platoon player at this point. In his career,...

  • First Pitch: Should Travis Snider Be Starting Against Left-Handers?

    It’s a question I get often: Why isn’t Travis Snider starting against left-handers? Sometimes it’s straight up. Sometimes it’s wondering if he’s really done enough to establish a trend in the majors. Sometimes it’s just complaining that Brandon Inge is in the lineup. Snider is off to a good start this year....

  • First Pitch: Could the Pirates be 31-23 at the End of May?

    We heard at the start of the season how the Pittsburgh Pirates had one of the toughest early season schedules in the game. Despite that schedule, the Pirates are 17-14, in second place in the NL Central, and sitting with the fifth highest winning percentage in the National League. They swept the...

  • First Pitch: There’s No Reason to Keep Andrew Lambo in Altoona

    At the start of the 2013 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a lot of options in the outfield. They had to make some difficult cuts at the end of Spring Training, cutting the hot hitting Alex Presley and Felix Pie in favor of Jose Tabata and Travis Snider. The outfield in the...

  • First Pitch: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

    After today’s game, Clint Hurdle announced that he would only be using Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon when the team is ahead. Hurdle didn’t use either reliever in the ninth inning, instead turning to Tony Watson for a second inning in a game that was tied 4-4. Watson gave up the eventual...

  • First Pitch: The Road to Contending Goes Through Milwaukee

    For the past two years I’ve had the same thought about the Milwaukee Brewers and what they say about the Pirates’ chances. The thought is always “if the Pirates can beat the Brewers, they’ll show they are legit this year”. Last year the Pirates went 4-11 against Milwaukee, including a 1-8 record...

  • First Pitch: Hanrahan a Recent Example of Why You Sell High on Relievers

    Back when the Joel Hanrahan trade happened, there were a lot of complaints that the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t get enough in return and should have held on to Hanrahan until the trade deadline to get a better return. Today, after a rough start with Boston, and after a trip to the disabled...

  • First Pitch: A Look at the Short-Term and Long-Term Pitching Moves

    I was asked this morning on Twitter how the pitching staff would look on July 1st. The recent starts by Jeff Locke, the eventual returns of Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton, and the possibility of Gerrit Cole arriving mid-season make that an impossible question to answer. That’s especially true when you consider...

  • First Pitch: What to do About Jonathan Sanchez in the Short-Term?

    Francisco Liriano had a great start on Thursday. He threw five innings for Indianapolis, allowing one run on four hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts. Jonathan Sanchez didn’t have a good start on Friday. He was ejected from his start after allowing two homers in the first inning, then hitting Allen...

  • First Pitch: The Pirates Prospects Podcast

    For the last few years I’ve debated whether to add a podcast to the site. There are already some good podcasts out there at Bucs Dugout and Rumbunter, and I wasn’t sure that I could add anything which would be different than what was already on the site. With my move to...

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