First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager’s office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt. No, that’s not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates’ minor-league system in shambles despite six straight Top-11 picks, but at least a couple of those prospects worked out. Three productive players in the Pittsburgh lineup were all amateurs picked up by Littlefield: Andrew...

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Pirates Win Series on Locke’s Sharp Start, Alvarez’s Homer

It’s a negative that the Pirates could only score eight runs in three games against the Houston Astros, baseball’s worst run-preventing team. It’s a negative that that they could only crack open four total hits on average starting pitcher Lucas Harrell, and needed 15 hitters Sunday to hit the ball out of the infield. But when a Pirates batter finally hit one out of infield… boom. Pedro Alvarez roped...

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Jose Contreras Placed on Bereavement List, Jared Hughes Recalled

Right-handed reliever Jose Contreras has been placed on the bereavement list due to a death in his family, and the Pirates have recalled righty Jared Hughes to take his spot in the bullpen. [Update: Hughes will be at PNC Park "at some point" during Friday night's game, according to Jim Trdinich, Director of Baseball Communications.] Contreras made his Pirates debut May 5 and has pitched in five games, with four strikeouts and two...

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Pirates Notebook: Robbie Grossman Finally Comes To Pittsburgh

Outfielder Robbie Grossman will make his PNC Park debut Friday night in the leadoff spot, five years after the Pirates drafted him in the sixth round. He won’t take the field in black and gold, but rather in blue and orange. Almost four years after he signed with the Pirates out of high school for $1 million, Grossman was traded to Houston (with pitching prospects Colton Cain and Rudy Owens) for left-hander Wandy Rodriguez....

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First Pitch: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

After today’s game, Clint Hurdle announced that he would only be using Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon when the team is ahead. Hurdle didn’t use either reliever in the ninth inning, instead turning to Tony Watson for a second inning in a game that was tied 4-4. Watson gave up the eventual winning run, and the Pirates lost 5-4 with their two best relievers on the bench. I can understand not wanting to over-use your top...

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