Pirates Notebook: Clichés Are True in the Short Term, Useless in the Long Term

It’s very cliché. You hear it all the time during Spring Training right after a starter had a bad outing. “This is one of those outings in Spring Training, you walk away, you say he got his work in, you move on,” Clint Hurdle said after today’s game with a laugh, describing A.J. Burnett’s outing. The right-hander was pulled in the second inning of today’s game, giving up four runs on four hits and...

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Pirates Notebook: A Comeback For Jose Tabata, Or A Small Sample Size?

Spring Training usually means two things. One is that you’ll hear a lot of stories about how a player is reviving their career. This comes in many forms. There’s the “best shape of his life” talk. Sometimes it has to do with vision (Player A got contacts, while Player B skipped that all together and got Lasik surgery). Once the Spring Training games start, the talk stems from the second product of Spring...

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Pirates Notebook: Gaby Sanchez Plays Third; Sands Talks Power

In the second half of Thursday’s blow-out loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Gaby Sanchez out to play third base. The infielder has played third base in the past, with his last appearance at the position coming in 2009 in Triple-A. The playing time didn’t start today. The Pirates have been working Sanchez at third since the end of the 2012 season. “We worked very hard last season with a lot of...

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Pirates Notebook: Leroux Getting His Strength Back; Burnett’s Spring Prep

When I was looking over Chris Leroux’s stats for the 2013 Annual, I noticed two red flags in his pitch selection. First, I noticed that he was leaning more on his slider in 2012. In 2010 and 2011 the right-hander threw his fastball around 63% of the time. In 2012, that number dropped down to 41.8%. The second thing I noticed was that Leroux’s fastball velocity dropped. He was averaging around 93-94 MPH in 2010-2011, but...

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Pirates Notebook: Burnett and McCutchen Finish With Ovations

A.J. Burnett didn’t have his best stuff in the final game of the 2012 season on Wednesday, but that didn’t stop the home crowd from giving him a standing ovation when he walked off the mound in the two-run sixth inning. The frame was highlighted with a pinch-hit single to leadoff the inning from veteran Chipper Jones in his last regular season at-bat before hanging up his cleats after the postseason. Jones would come...

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Pirates Notebook: Correia’s Final Start as a Bucco?

Kevin Correia walked off the mound with two-outs in the seventh inning to a warm applause from the home crowd at PNC Park. The right-hander held the postseason bound Atlanta Braves to just one run in what is likely his final start as a Pittsburgh Pirate. “I don’t think about any contract stuff or where I’m going to be at until after my last start,” Correia said after picking up the win. “It really doesn’t even...

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