Pirates Notebook: Should there be concern over Alvarez?

I’ve seen several comments in the last few weeks asking whether I’m concerned over the slow start so far by Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect Pedro Alvarez.  After tonight’s game, Alvarez is hitting for a .222 average in 81 at-bats at the AAA level, with 23 strikeouts.  I’ve mentioned several times that I think Alvarez will have a big impact on the major league team this year, which would seem strange...

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Pirates Notebook: I Love the Bullpen

If there’s one thing I like about the 7-5 start to the season, it’s the bullpen.  I’m very comfortable with this bullpen when the Pirates are holding a lead, or when they’re trying to stay in the game.  That wasn’t exactly the case in years past.  There was Matt Capps bombing last year.  There have been guys like Tyler Yates and Denny Bautista blowing up in the middle innings. One of...

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Going Cheap Pt 3: 2010 Bullpen Options

In part one of this series I looked at whether you could find cheap bullpen options.  In part two of this series I looked at how you could find cheap bullpen options.  While there are probably many ways to do this, the two trends I am focusing on here are as follows: 1. Relief pitchers with strong K/9, K/BB, and HR/9 ratios in the minors.  Normally I’d look for a 6.0 or better, 2.0 or better, and 1.0 or less...

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Pirates made a mistake letting Capps go

All through the week it seemed to be a given that the Pittsburgh Pirates would tender a contract to all of their arbitration eligible players.  Those players were Ronny Cedeno, who will compete for the starting shortstop position, Zach Duke, one of the top starters from 2009, and Matt Capps, their closer from the last few years. Today the Pirates made a shocking move by non-tendering Matt Capps, making Capps a free agent....

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Pirates remove Bautista, Bootcheck, and Hansen from 40-man

The Pittsburgh Pirates removed Chris Bootcheck, Denny Bautista, and Craig Hansen from the 40-man roster today. Bootcheck elected free agency, while there is no word on Bautista and Hansen. The move clears up two spots on the 40-man roster, only because Hansen was on the 60-day DL, and not a member of the 40-man roster. Hansen was acquired in the Jason Bay trade last year, but didn’t see much time with the Pirates due to injury...

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