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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First Pitch: 13 Boom or Bust Players Who Could Make a Difference in 2013

The 2013 roster is starting to take shape. There are still a few off-season questions that remain unanswered. Will the Pirates trade Garrett Jones? Who will win the 5th starter job? Will the Pirates add any free agent relievers? Will they add any more free agents, period? One thing that is already apparent is that the roster will feature a lot of boom or bust players. I was listening to the recent Bucs Dugout podcast the other day,...

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Pirates Prospects 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year

In previous years it wasn’t difficult to pick the Pitcher of the Year in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system. Kyle McPherson was clearly the winner last year, posting a 2.96 ERA and a 142:27 K/BB ratio in 161 innings. Rudy Owens ran away with it in 2010, posting a 2.46 ERA in 150 innings at the Double-A level, with a 132:23 K/BB ratio. This year there was a little more competition, which led to a tougher decision....

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