2014 Recaps: Pirates Showed You Don’t Have to Spend Big to Upgrade the Bullpen
Oct29

2014 Recaps: Pirates Showed You Don’t Have to Spend Big to Upgrade the Bullpen

For the past few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired a lot of bounce back candidates in their bullpen, with a lot of those guys actually bouncing back. That approach led to one of the top bullpens in baseball during the 2013 season. Most of that bullpen was returning in 2014, and the Pirates looked to be in good shape. What led to the success in 2013 was the Pirates going out and getting players who were coming off down years,...

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2014 Recaps: The Fall and Rise of the 2014 Pirates Rotation
Oct23

2014 Recaps: The Fall and Rise of the 2014 Pirates Rotation

The results from the 2013 season gave some hope for the 2014 rotation. At the end of the year, the Pittsburgh Pirates looked like they had three top of the rotation guys in Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and A.J. Burnett. During the off-season, they didn’t bring back Burnett, and instead went for Edinson Volquez. As a result, there was a lot of fan backlash to the set of moves, with Pirates fans wanting Burnett back, and...

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2014 Recaps: Is Josh Harrison the Future at Third Base For the Pirates?
Oct22

2014 Recaps: Is Josh Harrison the Future at Third Base For the Pirates?

For the past few years, the third base recap has been a countdown to nothing. More specifically, it has been a countdown to when Pedro Alvarez would leave the Pittsburgh Pirates, at which point the Pirates had no internal replacements. After the 2014 season, the Pirates are now in a situation where they not only have a replacement at third base for Alvarez,¬†but also could deal Alvarez two years before he’s eligible for free...

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2014 Recaps: Getting Expensive Replacement Level Production From First Base
Oct21

2014 Recaps: Getting Expensive Replacement Level Production From First Base

For the past few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been relying on a platoon at first base, trying to get All-Star production for a fraction of the price. Each year the platoon has struggled due to one player in the duo playing below his career average platoon splits. This year, everyone in the platoon struggled. The Pirates started the season with Travis Ishikawa and Gaby Sanchez. Ishikawa won the job out of Spring Training, after...

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2014 Recaps: Russell Martin Had a Career Year Offensively, But Defense Will Get Him Paid
Oct20

2014 Recaps: Russell Martin Had a Career Year Offensively, But Defense Will Get Him Paid

Almost two years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Russell Martin to the biggest free agent deal in franchise history. The deal was for two years and $17 M, outbidding the New York Yankees by a few million. Martin turned down a three-year deal from the Pirates, opting to enter free agency a year earlier. That turned out to be a very wise decision. At the end of the 2013 season, I looked at Martin compared to the previous catchers in...

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2014 Recaps: Right Field Led to Unlikely Breakouts, But the Future is Gregory Polanco
Oct17

2014 Recaps: Right Field Led to Unlikely Breakouts, But the Future is Gregory Polanco

Heading into the 2014 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates were sticking with internal options in right field, just waiting for Gregory Polanco to arrive in the majors. Polanco was the long-term solution for the Pirates, completing their Dream Outfield along with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. The Pirates opted to go with Travis Snider and Jose Tabata, two outfielders who struggled at the position enough in 2013 to warrant a big trade...

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