Links: Are the Pirates For Real?

Every year it seems like there’s one surprise team that everyone starts talking about early in the season. The Pirates have been a surprise team in each of the previous two years, but I don’t recall the discussion starting this early (probably because they broke out in June 2011, and had a historically bad offense this time of the year last year). In the last few days there have been a few articles that have gone up...

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Is Stetson Allie a Future All-Star, Platoon Player, or Minor League Director?

Stetson Allie has been one of the best stories in the Pirates’ minor league system this year. I get asked all the time why he’s not a top 20 prospect yet, when he’ll be moved up to Double-A, and even what he could become in the future. I’m generally hesitant to give high rankings to first basemen. I’m also hesitant to give high rankings to hitters based on low-A numbers, unless I see some really promising...

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Pirates Notebook: Jeff Karstens Talks Rehab, Role With Team

Pitcher Jeff Karstens threw a bullpen session Tuesday afternoon in his continued rehabilitation back to the Major Leagues. Karstens is scheduled to make another rehab start Thursday or Friday. In his last start Saturday for Altoona, Karstens gave up two hits and two walks for two unearned runs in the first innings, then settled in to pitch three scoreless frames. He had previously thrown 42 pitches in three innings for Bradenton, and...

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First Pitch: Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez Could be the New Moneyball

I’ve talked about platoons a lot this week, first questioning whether Travis Snider should be in a platoon, then pointing out all of the different platoon candidates the Pirates have. In the process I noticed that the platoon at first base is working. Like, really well. Take a look at the numbers and how they stack up to the production every other team is getting from their first base position. AVG – .291 (10th) OBP...

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First Pitch: Who Wants to Hit a Left-Hander?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem. The team has four spots on the field which could require a platoon, due to the fact that they have so many players who can’t hit left-handers. The obvious player is Garrett Jones, who is established as a platoon player at this point. In his career, Jones has an .851 OPS against right-handers, and a .590 OPS against left-handers. The Pirates acquired Gaby Sanchez last year, aimed at...

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