First Pitch: The Pirates Short and Long Term at Shortstop
May17

First Pitch: The Pirates Short and Long Term at Shortstop

Today I wrote about Jordy Mercer and how I think he’s going to bounce back offensively this year. He may already be in the process of doing just that, but I don’t want to put too much stock on his recent hot streak, which is a sample size of six games. If Mercer doesn’t bounce back, then the Pirates once again find themselves in trouble at the shortstop position. That’s not an uncommon thing, as shortstop is...

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Pittsburgh Pirates Positive Regression Candidates: Jordy Mercer
May16

Pittsburgh Pirates Positive Regression Candidates: Jordy Mercer

It was almost a year ago that Jordy Mercer played his first game of the 2014 season at shortstop. Mercer came up in early May to play second base with Neil Walker on the disabled list. Walker returned on May 13th, and Mercer started his first game of the season at shortstop on May 15th. A few weeks later, Mercer was named the primary starter, which was a relief to Pirates fans who were tired of seeing Clint Barmes’ bat in the...

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First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis
May01

First Pitch: Evaluating the Pirates Offensive Emphasis

Follow @NateBarnes_ As discussed yesterday, the 2014 Pirates are emphasizing on-base percentage in hopes of improving an offense that ranked ninth in the National League by scoring 3.91 runs per game during the 2013 season. The key elements to this approach are being “intelligently aggressive” at the plate, striking out less and working counts to see good pitches to hit as opposed to flailing away at what a pitcher wants to throw in a...

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First Pitch: Why I’m Not Worried About the Pirates Offense
Apr15

First Pitch: Why I’m Not Worried About the Pirates Offense

I can’t say that I’m too worried about the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense. I don’t think they’re going to be a top offense in the league. I’m not saying that the string of home runs hit in that Little League park in Cincinnati is legit. I’m just saying that if you look at the offense, the positions you expected to perform aren’t performing. First you’ve got Andrew McCutchen, the MVP...

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First Pitch: 21 Reasons Why the Pirates Are Going to Have Another Good Season in 2014
Mar31

First Pitch: 21 Reasons Why the Pirates Are Going to Have Another Good Season in 2014

Every team has a weakness. Most of this off-season has been spent focusing on the big weaknesses for the Pirates — the first base spot and the fifth starter spot in the rotation. The Pirates didn’t do anything over the off-season to ease concerns about those two spots. And in the process, people continued to focus on those two positions, all while ignoring the fact that the positives on this team far out-weigh the...

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