• Exploring the Arsenal – Joe Blanton

    Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of...

  • Surveying the National League – Part 1 of 2

    Examining the playoff worthiness of each team in the National League.

  • Prospect Trends — First Half Review, Part Two

    Time to look at the first-half surprises and disappointments at Indianapolis and Altoona. INDIANAPOLIS Surprises Jordy Mercer, IF:  After a slow start, Mercer adapted to AAA and put up a very good (for a middle infielder) line of 303/379/417, with a solid 2:1 K:BB ratio.  That earned him a callup to Pittsburgh. ...

  • First Pitch: Is Correia in the Rotation a Bluff?

    In Kristy Robinson's notebook tonight, the starting rotation was laid out for the next week. The order is as follows. With Karstens starting tomorrow, the rotation will all be pushed back one day. Right-hander Brad Lincoln will be moved into the bullpen. The series in Philly is as scheduled: Erik Bedard Tuesday,...

  • Matt Hague Trying to Stay Sharp in Bench Role

    PITTSBURGH, PA -- Adjusting to a bench role can be a tough transition for any young player.  Matt Hague led the International League in games played (141) last season while with Triple-A. Having spent his professional career as an everyday player, the second time around in the Majors has helped Matt Hague...

  • Rotation — Who’s in? Who’s out?; Alvarez Bumped to Fifth

    How the Pirates rotation works out is an interesting topic this morning. What we do know is that Jeff Karstens will not be making a rehab start today. The right-hander is in Pittsburgh, but was unavailable to speak to media today. Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle yanked him from his scheduled rehab assignment...

  • Exploring the Arsenal – Justin Verlander

    Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of...

  • First Pitch: Don’t Count on Locke or Owens Arriving Any Time Soon

    I wouldn't count on Jeff Locke or Rudy Owens making an appearance in the majors any time soon. Heading in to the weekend, it looked like Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia were on the chopping block, with each pitcher potentially looking at their last start. Lincoln pitched great tonight, and I can't...

  • Why Kevin Youkilis Is a Bad Idea

    I've yet to really see any good reasoning for the Pirates making a deal for Kevin Youkilis. Most of the talk is surrounded by hopes that he will magically rebound once he sets foot in PNC Park. But why would he rebound? Looking deeper at Youkilis, and forgetting that two years ago...

  • Lincoln Worked on Several Things in Bullpen for Today’s Start

    Right-hander Brad Lincoln will take the bump at 4:05 this afternoon to face the Tigers in his fifth start of the season. It will be his fourth straight since moving from the bullpen into the rotation. Yesterday, Lincoln told me about what he was working on during the days in between his...

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