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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Prospect Notebook: Josh Bell Has Been Working Out at IMG Academy

The 2012 season was supposed to be the first full pro season for top outfield prospect Josh Bell. Instead, the outfielder went down early in the season with a knee injury. After undergoing MCL surgery, he was expected back by August. Some swelling in the knee held him out longer, causing him to miss the remainder of the season, as well as the instructional league games. The outfielder underwent Platelet Rich Plasma therapy to speed up...

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Could Tyler Glasnow Be As Good As Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have spent about $9.5 M from 2008-2012 on middle round prep pitchers. The majority of them have been the same: tall, skinny pitchers with fastballs in the 88-92 MPH range, and hopes that those velocities could increase once the pitchers started filling out their tall, skinny frames. It’s not a totally uncommon story. You don’t have to go back far in draft history to find pitchers who greatly improved...

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