WBC Notes: Welch Homers In Opener

The World Baseball Classic began last night and Pittsburgh Pirates minor league third baseman Stefan Welch provided Australia’s only run with a seventh inning solo homer. Australia was shut down for the first six innings by free agent Chein-Ming Wang. Welch finished the day 1-for-3, as Australia dropped their opener 4-1 to Chinese Taipei. Since the initial rosters were announced, both Ivan De Jesus Jr and Russell Martin have...

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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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WBC Final Rosters Out: De Jesus Withdraws

According to Rob Biertempfel on Twitter, the final rosters have been released for the 2013 World Baseball Classic and the only change among Pittsburgh Pirates players is Ivan De Jesus Jr withdrawing from Team Puerto Rico. Biertempfel says that De Jesus withdrew to stay in camp to compete for a major league job. The final rosters include Jameson Taillon, Russell Martin  and Chris Leroux for Team Canada. Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to...

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Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: The Bullpen

With pitchers and catchers reporting today, and Spring Training starting up this week, we will be previewing the position battles to follow throughout the Spring. To keep track of the players who are in camp, and the updated status of each position battle, check out the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Tracker. If there’s one area where Neal Huntington has been successful, it’s building a bullpen. Huntington has...

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First Pitch: The Starting Pitching Depth

With yesterday’s news that the Pirates were adding Jonathan Sanchez, and today’s news that they’re still on track to sign Francisco Liriano, the starting pitching scene is getting crowded. Here is a breakdown of all the options who are either currently on the team, or in the case of Sanchez/Liriano, expected to sign. Guarantees for the Rotation A.J. Burnett - Burnett had a 3.51 ERA in 202.1 innings last year, and his...

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