Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: The Rotation

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. The Pirates have done a lot since the trade deadline to address the starting rotation. They acquired Wandy Rodriguez...

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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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First Pitch: Will Karstens Push Locke and McPherson to Indianapolis?

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Jeff Karstens last week, a lot of people assumed they were moving on from Francisco Liriano. Now that the team has agreed to a revised deal with Liriano, the speculation is that Karstens will take the final spot in the rotation, pushing Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson to Indianapolis at the start of the year. That theory makes sense on the surface. The Pirates are paying Karstens $2.5 M. They usually...

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Pirates Make Karstens Signing Official, DFA Zach Stewart

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made the signing of Jeff Karstens official, via a team press release. To make room on the 40-man roster, the team designated right-hander Zach Stewart for assignment. Stewart was acquired earlier this off-season for Kyle Kaminska. The 2013 payroll page has been updated with Karstens’ estimated salary. UPDATE 3:15 PM: Will Graves reports the deal is for $2.5 M with $1 M in performance bonuses. Pirates...

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First Pitch: Is Jeff Karstens Over-Rated or Under-Rated?

Back at the end of November the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendered right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens. The move was pretty controversial at the time. Karstens was projected to make $3.8 M through arbitration and was coming off a pretty good year when he was healthy. The starter posted a 3.97 ERA in 90.2 innings, with a 6.55 K/9, a 1.49 BB/9, and an 0.79 HR/9. The problem was that Karstens couldn’t stay healthy. Ultimately...

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