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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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Minor League Spring Training Roster

I just received a copy of the Minor League Camp roster, listing every player who will be participating in the minor league portion of Spring Training. Only a few players have reported to camp so far, with March 3rd being the deadline for all players to report. * = Left Handed # = Switch Hitter Number in Parenthesis = Age Pitchers Alderson, Tim (24) Baker, Nathaniel * (25) Beckman, Ryan (23) Benedict, Matthew (24) Breedlove, Lance (22)...

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Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon Set to Kick Off the Spring Training Schedule

I got down to Bradenton around noon on Wednesday, after about 15 hours of driving from Virginia. For the last two days I’ve been unpacking the moving truck. That’s not finished yet, but I thought I’d take a break for this. The Pirates are set to open their Spring Training schedule today with a Black and Gold intrasquad scrimmage. The teams are set to go five and a half innings. Below are the lineups and pitchers....

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Spring Training Notes: February 19

The Pirates, still early in spring training, ran some light drills on Tuesday morning.  The regimen consisted mainly of drilling the pitchers on backing up bases, fielding grounders, and numerous pitchers throwing briefly to hitters.  Among the pitchers getting some mound work were A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and Jeff Locke. The hitters struggled to get much wood on the ball...

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