First Pitch: Taking the John Buck Approach to Adding a Relief Pitcher
Jul27

First Pitch: Taking the John Buck Approach to Adding a Relief Pitcher

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates had a need for a starting right fielder. By the end of August, they made a deal for Marlon Byrd, sending Dilson Herrera and Vic Black to the New York Mets. In the same deal, they also got catcher John Buck, who they used as their backup the rest of the season. Buck wasn’t a very good backup catcher. He was replacement level, and was horrible at pitch framing. You can’t really say that the...

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First Pitch: Looking at the Seller’s Market Trade Values For David Price and Jon Lester
Jul26

First Pitch: Looking at the Seller’s Market Trade Values For David Price and Jon Lester

The Pittsburgh Pirates had two scouts at the Red Sox/Rays game tonight, watching David Price and Jon Lester go against each other. Both guys could be possibilities for the trade block this year, although if the Rays keep winning, they might hold on to Price. This is shaping up to be a seller’s market. There are so many teams in the mix for the playoffs, and very few teams that are committed to selling. You just have to look at...

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First Pitch: As Expected, Trades For Starting Pitchers Will Probably Cost a Ton
Jul25

First Pitch: As Expected, Trades For Starting Pitchers Will Probably Cost a Ton

Here’s something that probably won’t be a surprise: starting pitching looks like it’s going to cost a lot on the trade market this year. We saw this already when Jeff Samardzija was traded to the Oakland Athletics, with the Chicago Cubs getting multiple top prospects in return, highlighted by one of the best prospects in the game, Addison Russell. Based on the current rumored asking prices, it doesn’t look like...

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First Pitch: More of This From Liriano and Fixing the Competitive Balance Lottery
Jul24

First Pitch: More of This From Liriano and Fixing the Competitive Balance Lottery

The Pirates need the 2013 version of Francisco Liriano in the second half. Last time out he struggled in the first, but recovered and threw five innings with no earned runs, striking out eight in the process. Tonight against the Dodgers the results were much like the 2013 Liriano, with one run on four hits and two walks in seven innings, along with four strikeouts. Liriano got off to a horrible start this year, and missed about a...

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First Pitch: MLB is NOT As Good As It Has Ever Been
Jul23

First Pitch: MLB is NOT As Good As It Has Ever Been

Bud Selig was in Pittsburgh today, and as you could have guessed, he attributed the Pirates’ success to MLB having a fair landscape. This isn’t unexpected, as it happens every time a small market team surprises everyone by contending. The Pirates have become contenders again, but they haven’t done it because MLB is fair. They did it by finding talent avenues that were under-valued. They did it through the draft,...

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First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority
Jul22

First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority

Last off-season was filled with a lot of drama surrounding A.J. Burnett, qualifying offers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates approach with free agency and the percentage that individual players take up on the team payroll. Prepare for act two this coming off-season. The Pirates will go through the same situation again with Russell Martin. To be accurate, it won’t be the exact situation. There won’t be a chance of Martin saying...

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