Can Jose Contreras Help the Pirates?

Yesterday I watched Francisco Liriano and Jose Contreras make rehab appearances with the Bradenton Marauders. On Thursday, Charlie Morton is expected to make a rehab start in Bradenton. The rehab appearances by Liriano and Morton mean that they’re at most 30 days from making it back to the majors. With the way the pitching has been going so far this season, those returns would be welcome additions. You can see how Liriano and...

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Stetson Allie and Brett Carroll Win Player of the Week Honors

Earlier today I reviewed the top hitting performers from the past week, with Stetson Allie and Brett Carroll finishing as the top two hitters. They also each took home Player of the Week honors in their respective leagues. Brett Carroll was named the International League Player of the Week after going 10-for-17 with three homers and two walks. Carroll is the first Indianapolis hitter to win the IL Batter of the Week award since...

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Pirates Pregame: McDonald Still Searching for Consistency

James McDonald makes his third start of the 2013 season tonight with the St. Louis Cardinals visiting PNC Park, and one has to wonder which McDonald will be on the mound tonight for the Pirates. Will it be the James McDonald that was perhaps the best pitcher on the Pittsburgh staff during the first half of 2012? Or will it be the James McDonald that went through a full-on meltdown in the second half of 2012? So far in 2013 McDonald...

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Analysis: Teams Should Shift Their Infield More Against Garrett Jones

The Pirates did not need much help to hit into outs over the first week of the season, they were doing a good job all by themselves. Cubs manager Dale Sveum decided to make life a little more difficult for one of the Bucs’ best hitters, Garrett Jones. On Opening Day, Sveum shifted his infield to have three of his infielders on the right side. Jones hit into the shift in his first three at-bats, only reaching on a first-inning...

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Pirates Pregame: Irwin’s Debut, Inge Update, Phillips Returns for Reds

Phil Irwin will make his major league debut today for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the club announced this morning. Irwin won 29 games in five seasons of minor league competition, and while wins and losses are not necessarily a good barometer for the developmental process in the minors, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Irwin’s presence made his teammates better which translated to success on the field. “There comes a point in...

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The Book on Phil Irwin

Phil Irwin is set to make his major league debut today, getting the spot start in place of Wandy Rodriguez. Irwin hasn’t been talked about as much as top guys like Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, mostly because he was a 21st round pick and has kind of flown under the radar in the minors. His numbers last year were excellent, but were over-shadowed by Gerrit Cole, who put up almost identical numbers at the same levels. Irwin has...

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