First Pitch: Don’t Look Now, But the Pirates Have an Offense
Jun24

First Pitch: Don’t Look Now, But the Pirates Have an Offense

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates won because of their pitching. The pitching staff as a whole combined for a 3.58 xFIP, which tied the Atlanta Braves for third in the majors, and second in the NL. The offense was middle of the pack, by advanced metrics, with the Pirates ranking 13th in baseball with a 98 wRC+. The actual results under-performed the advanced metrics, leading to the Pirates finishing in the bottom third in runs scored....

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Andrew McCutchen Named NL Player of the Week
Jun16

Andrew McCutchen Named NL Player of the Week

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending June 15th. During the week, McCutchen led the Majors with four homers, 13 RBIs, 30 total bases and a 1.034 OPS. Among NL players, he led with a .483 average and .559 on base percentage. He had at least one hit in every game last week and currently has an 11 game hit streak. This is the...

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First Pitch: Did the Pirates Make Gregory Polanco a Fair Offer?
May07

First Pitch: Did the Pirates Make Gregory Polanco a Fair Offer?

The value of extensions are often distorted by unfair comparisons to free agency. When a guy signs a pre-free agency extension, the reaction is usually that the team got a huge deal, due to the low cost in comparison to the outrageous free agent contracts. Take Andrew McCutchen as an example. That extension — $51.5 M for six years — is seen as a massive value, especially when guys like Jacoby Ellsbury are getting $150 M...

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First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis
May01

First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis

Follow @NateBarnes_ As discussed yesterday, the 2014 Pirates are emphasizing on-base percentage in hopes of improving an offense that ranked ninth in the National League by scoring 3.91 runs per game during the 2013 season. The key elements to this approach are being “intelligently aggressive” at the plate, striking out less and working counts to see good pitches to hit as opposed to flailing away at what a pitcher wants to throw in a...

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Pirates Look to Improve Offense by Emphasizing On-Base Percentage
Apr30

Pirates Look to Improve Offense by Emphasizing On-Base Percentage

Follow @NateBarnes_ Andrew McCutchen stepped to the plate against pitcher Alfredo Simon in the third inning of the Pirates’ April 23 game against the Cincinnati Reds with his team locked in a 1-1 tie. In his first at-bat, McCutchen lined out to center field after three pitches. The MVP’s second plate appearance of the night lasted ten pitches and culminated in a line drive home run into the left field bleachers that traveled over 400...

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