First Pitch: The Pirates Might Be Getting a Big Boost Over the Final Six Weeks
Aug16

First Pitch: The Pirates Might Be Getting a Big Boost Over the Final Six Weeks

A few weeks ago, things weren’t looking good with Gerrit Cole’s rehab work. The right-handed pitcher was coming off a poor second rehab start with Indianapolis, and talked about how he felt “brutal” after the first outing. The Pirates gave him some extra time after that first appearance, allowing him to work on some things with an extra bullpen session. Since that point, Cole has made two rehab starts,...

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First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders
Aug11

First Pitch: Once Again, Starting Pitching is Keeping the Pirates as Contenders

If you look at the season numbers, the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have the best results from their starting rotation. They rank middle of the pack in ERA and xFIP, and rank last in the majors in WAR. However, the season numbers don’t really tell the story of the current rotation. The season numbers include Wandy Rodriguez. They include struggles from Francisco Liriano before the All-Star break. They don’t include¬†full...

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First Pitch: The Tough Decisions When Francisco Liriano Returns
Jul06

First Pitch: The Tough Decisions When Francisco Liriano Returns

In the upcoming weeks, Francisco Liriano will be returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ rotation, with his return currently anticipated for just after the All-Star break. The Pirates are getting good starts from their entire rotation, which will lead to a difficult decision when Liriano returns. The current rotation consists of Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, Edinson Volquez, and Vance Worley. Of that group, only Locke...

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First Pitch: The State of the Pirates Rotation
May29

First Pitch: The State of the Pirates Rotation

After Wandy Rodriguez was removed from the rotation last week, the question became “who is next?” The Pirates haven’t been getting good results from their rotation this season, or their bullpen for that matter. Coming into the season, they looked good at the top three spots in the rotation, with Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton leading the way. Morton and Cole haven’t been bad, but they...

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First Pitch: How Long Can the Pirates Give Edinson Volquez?
May21

First Pitch: How Long Can the Pirates Give Edinson Volquez?

Edinson Volquez had an amazing start to the 2014 season. Through his first five appearances (four starts), he had a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings, with a 20:8 K/BB ratio. The numbers said that he would regress and see a decline going forward, but not to the extreme he saw. In his four starts since that great debut, Volquez has combined for an 8.31 ERA in 21.2 innings, with a 12:8 K/BB ratio. A few weeks ago, Nate Barnes wrote about Volquez,...

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