Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Dominates, But Don’t Expect Him To Make the Team

Gerrit Cole didn’t have much trouble taking on Spain. The right-hander threw three shutout innings in his second Spring Training appearance, giving up two hits, walking one, and striking out six. He was sitting 94-97 MPH, and throwing mostly fastballs. He didn’t need anything else. “He was focused. He went out there with a focus and with intent,” Clint Hurdle said of the outing. “Loved the pace and...

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Tony Sanchez Has the Defense, But Can He Hit in the Majors?

One thing that will probably always surround Tony Sanchez is the controversy of his selection in the 2009 draft. The Pirates passed on a group of highly rated prep pitchers to take Sanchez fourth overall. The selection was made for two reasons. The main reason was that the Pirates could sign Sanchez for around slot price, and use the extra money on prep pitchers in the middle round. The Pirates also liked Sanchez’s defense, and...

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Pirates Notebook: Clichés Are True in the Short Term, Useless in the Long Term

It’s very cliché. You hear it all the time during Spring Training right after a starter had a bad outing. “This is one of those outings in Spring Training, you walk away, you say he got his work in, you move on,” Clint Hurdle said after today’s game with a laugh, describing A.J. Burnett’s outing. The right-hander was pulled in the second inning of today’s game, giving up four runs on four hits and...

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Pirates Notebook: A Comeback For Jose Tabata, Or A Small Sample Size?

Spring Training usually means two things. One is that you’ll hear a lot of stories about how a player is reviving their career. This comes in many forms. There’s the “best shape of his life” talk. Sometimes it has to do with vision (Player A got contacts, while Player B skipped that all together and got Lasik surgery). Once the Spring Training games start, the talk stems from the second product of Spring...

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2013 Could Be the Season Where Jameson Taillon is Finally Unleashed

Jameson Taillon had an up and down year in 2012. He started off the season with seven amazing outings, combining for six earned runs in 36.2 innings, with a 36:7 K/BB ratio. From there, things went steadily down hill for the next two months. The right-hander gave up 45 earned runs in 66.1 innings from May 16th to July 25th. He then turned things around at the end of the season, giving up six earned runs in 39 innings over his final...

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Pirates Notebook: Leroux Getting His Strength Back; Burnett’s Spring Prep

When I was looking over Chris Leroux’s stats for the 2013 Annual, I noticed two red flags in his pitch selection. First, I noticed that he was leaning more on his slider in 2012. In 2010 and 2011 the right-hander threw his fastball around 63% of the time. In 2012, that number dropped down to 41.8%. The second thing I noticed was that Leroux’s fastball velocity dropped. He was averaging around 93-94 MPH in 2010-2011, but...

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