Pirates Notebook: Why Felix Pie Joined the Bucs to Lead Off
Aug21

Pirates Notebook: Why Felix Pie Joined the Bucs to Lead Off

SAN DIEGO — No time for formalities. Why was outfielder Felix Pie called up Wednesday to join the Pirates’ roster? “We felt he was our best available option,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “With Travis [Snider] being on the DL, Alex Presley and Andrew Lambo in limbo with the 10-day window, as we looked to try to re-balance with [Starling] Marte’s hand, we wanted to go with the best...

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Pirates Notebook: How Justin Wilson and First-Year Relievers Face Long Season
Aug20

Pirates Notebook: How Justin Wilson and First-Year Relievers Face Long Season

SAN DIEGO — If you’re trying to pinpoint why the Pirates’ bullpen continues to be one of baseball’s best, Justin Wilson has shown you. As the Pittsburgh reliever who has thrown the most innings, Wilson leads all National League rookies in ERA (1.97) and batting average against (.183). But one year ago today when Wilson made his Major League debut at Petco Park, he was merely at the start of his transition from...

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Pirates Notebook: West Coast Swing to Challenge Pirates Again
Aug19

Pirates Notebook: West Coast Swing to Challenge Pirates Again

Fans who keep a close eye on the calendar may notice the Pirates’ August déjà vu. On Sunday, August 19, 2012, the Pirates won a 19-inning game over the St. Louis Cardinals, then traveled to San Diego. The Padres swept the Bucs and Petco, and Pittsburgh started into a tailspin of 23 losses in 30 games. On Sunday, August 18, 2013, the Pirates lost a 16-inning game to the Arizona Diamondbacks, then traveled to San Diego. That date...

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Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Stays in Rotation, But For How Long?
Aug17

Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Stays in Rotation, But For How Long?

All three times this year Gerrit Cole has pitched on at least a week of rest, he has gotten a quality start. In his nine other starts, he has only four quality starts. Small sample size, certainly. We do not yet know if Cole is a better pitcher given more rest, and he will even tell you his breaking ball did not feel as sharp Friday night against the Diamondbacks (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) when he took the mound after a full week...

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Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Says “There’s Nothing Better” Than Watching Martin
Aug16

Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Says “There’s Nothing Better” Than Watching Martin

Tony Sanchez calls Russell Martin one of the league’s best catchers, and he is right to boast. Martin leads all MLB catchers in assists (73), runners caught stealing (23) and is fourth in caught stealing percentage (43 percent), plus he has started 87 of 120 games at catcher for the Pirates’ pitching staff that has baseball’s best ERA. Sanchez arrived in Pittsburgh on July 29 carrying his own pedigree as a former No....

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Pirates Notebook: Neil Walker Has Been a Hit in August
Aug15

Pirates Notebook: Neil Walker Has Been a Hit in August

While the Pirates’ overall offense is slowly accelerating this month (11th in the NL in runs, 6th in OPS), Neil Walker has shifted gears entirely. Pittsburgh’s second baseman has been one of the league’s most productive players in August, hitting .362 with an .893 OPS. Only Arizona’s hot-hitting Aaron Hill (.391 BA, 1.146 OPS) is performing better than Walker this month among NL second basemen. Walker has built...

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