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: Hurdle Believes Marte Could Be a Dynamic Leadoff Hitter

The Pirates could use a lot of nights like tonight from Starling Marte during the 2013 season. The outfielder led off the game with a single, after working the count in a long at-bat. He then went on to steal second, and moved to third when the throw from the catcher went wild. One play later Marte scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Tabata. Marte came up again to lead off the third inning. He drew a walk, again working the count. He...

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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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Pirates Notebook: A Comeback For Jose Tabata, Or A Small Sample Size?

Spring Training usually means two things. One is that you’ll hear a lot of stories about how a player is reviving their career. This comes in many forms. There’s the “best shape of his life” talk. Sometimes it has to do with vision (Player A got contacts, while Player B skipped that all together and got Lasik surgery). Once the Spring Training games start, the talk stems from the second product of Spring...

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McPherson Rated Among Top Rookie Pitchers

Fangraphs has released their top five rookie-eligible pitchers and hitters list for the 2013 season. Kyle McPherson was placed second on their list, alongside some big name prospects. Their ZiPS line for McPherson this season has him pitching 126 innings, with a 6.2 K/9 and a 1.6 WAR. McPherson will battle it out this Spring Training for the fifth spot in the Pirates rotation. He was ranked #9 overall in our Top 20 Prospect list this...

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