Martin’s Role Could Be A Key to Success

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Russell Martin after the 2012 season it was not for his bat — and with good reason. Martin, who turned 30 in February, owns a career batting average of .258 and an OPS of .748 — not terrible but certainly not great. What has been terrible, however, has been Martin’s offensive production. He is sitting on one hit this season. The fact that Martin isn’t lighting it up at the...

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The Book on Justin Wilson

Last night Justin Wilson came on in relief and pitched three perfect innings, striking out two. Wilson’s stuff looked great, with a fastball that was touching 97, and consistently in the mid-90s. He also was flashing a great curveball with a big break that finished consistently down in the zone. Wilson has only pitched nine innings in his major league career, spread out between last September and the start of this season. That...

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Can James McDonald Be More Like the First Half Pitcher From 2012?

Last night James McDonald got off to a great start for the 2013 season. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up one run on two hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. McDonald didn’t always look as good as the stat line. In the early innings he looked a bit shaky, but the Cubs didn’t capitalize on anything. Soon enough he settled down, taking away any opportunity for Chicago. Probably one of the biggest...

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Pirates Pregame: McCutchen Making Moves on the Base Paths

Last season the Pittsburgh Pirates finished last in the National League with 73 stolen bases. Andrew McCutchen led the club with 20 stolen bases, but that was down from 23 in 2011. So far this season, McCutchen has two stolen bases in as many games and said being more aggressive while on base has been a point of emphasis for him entering the 2013 season. “I’m just trying to get to the next bag because I have the speed to...

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Can Zack Dodson Bounce Back From His 2012 Season?

Zack Dodson has had two years worth of set backs in low-A. In 2011 he missed half the season with a broken hand. He did have good numbers when healthy, but only made 13 starts at the level. Dodson returned to West Virginia in 2012 and saw some struggles. In 2011 he had a 2.66 ERA in 66.2 innings, with a 6.2 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. In 2012 he had a 4.86 ERA in 100 innings, with a 6.0 K/9 and a 3.6 BB/9. The lefty entered the 2012 season...

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How Did Vic Black Get His Unusual Delivery?

The majority of Pirates fans haven’t had many chances to see Vic Black pitch. They’ve probably seen the numbers, highlighted by a 1.65 ERA and an 85:29 K/BB ratio in 60 innings in Altoona last year. They might have heard of his fastball, which usually sits in the 96-98 MPH range, and has touched triple digits. He’s been on top prospect lists, is named as one of the top relief prospects in the system, and was added to...

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