Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview: The Starting Rotation

The Pirates starting rotation shaped up to be a battle for one spot, but Jeff Karstens started having shoulder problems. Karstens appears likely on his way to a spot on the disabled list to start the season, which opened up another place in the rotation. A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald have all been penciled in in the top three spots for a while now, and word came in the middle of the week that Jonathan Sanchez would...

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Major League Roster Predictions With One Week Remaining in Camp

The Pirates made three cuts this morning, trimming the active roster down to 37 players. The Spring Training tracker has been updated with the moves, and the position battles at the bottom of the tracker have been updated. However, I wanted to take a closer look at each battle with a week remaining in camp. Below I break down each position battle, with all of the contenders included — even guys I have listed in red on the...

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First Pitch: Phil Irwin a Serious Contender For the Rotation?

Heading into Spring Training, the 5th starter battle seemed to be a two-man race. There was Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson, with guys like Jonathan Sanchez and Jeanmar Gomez competing, but both having an outside shot of making the team as a starter. So far Locke and McPherson haven’t stepped up, and neither have Sanchez or Gomez. One pitcher is stepping up with the numbers, and that’s Phil Irwin. Spring Training numbers...

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Pirates Notebook: Locke Gets Hit Hard, Irwin Drawing Some Attention

Jeff Locke had a bit of a rough outing today at McKechnie Field. The left-hander was hit hard, with eight hits in 3.1 innings, although he managed to limit the damage with only two runs allowed. Part of the low run count was due to Phil Irwin stranding two in the fourth, after Locke gave up a walk and a double to lead off the inning. Locke got a groundout for the first out, but the Pirates called on Irwin to get out of the jam....

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First Pitch: Some Early Thoughts From Big League Camp

A lot can happen in the next three and a half weeks to shape up the Opening Day roster. We’ve only seen a small sample size from each player here, and while some players are standing out, it’s important to keep that perspective about the lack of playing time. That said, here are some of my thoughts on the early part of camp, all coming with the disclaimer that it’s still early, and the results so far don’t mean...

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