2014 Recaps: Pirates Showed You Don’t Have to Spend Big to Upgrade the Bullpen
Oct29

2014 Recaps: Pirates Showed You Don’t Have to Spend Big to Upgrade the Bullpen

For the past few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired a lot of bounce back candidates in their bullpen, with a lot of those guys actually bouncing back. That approach led to one of the top bullpens in baseball during the 2013 season. Most of that bullpen was returning in 2014, and the Pirates looked to be in good shape. What led to the success in 2013 was the Pirates going out and getting players who were coming off down years,...

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Arbitration Estimates
Oct25

Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Arbitration Estimates

Matt Swartz at MLBTR has been producing some very accurate arbitration estimates over the last three seasons. His estimates for the Pittsburgh Pirates just came out recently, in an off-season preview that was written by Charlie at Bucs Dugout. Below are the MLBTR arbitration estimates: Gaby Sanchez, 1B (5.025): $2.7MM Neil Walker, 2B (4.166): $8.6MM Ike Davis, 1B (4.155): $4.4MM Mark Melancon, RP (4.098): $7.6MM Travis Snider, OF...

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The Pirates Didn’t Make a Big Splash, But Had the Best NL Bullpen in September
Sep30

The Pirates Didn’t Make a Big Splash, But Had the Best NL Bullpen in September

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a weak bullpen. The group collectively combined for a 3.79 xFIP in the first half of the season, which tied for the second worst in the NL. Their -0.5 WAR was also second worst. Despite the struggles, they didn’t add anyone at the trade deadline. Instead, they made a few minor moves. First, the team claimed John Axford off waivers from the Cleveland Indians on August 14th....

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First Pitch: It’s Time to Recognize Mark Melancon as an Elite Reliever
Jul17

First Pitch: It’s Time to Recognize Mark Melancon as an Elite Reliever

Mark Melancon is one of the best relievers in baseball. That’s not just my opinion. It’s a statistical fact. Just take a look at the numbers over the last two years. Melancon ranks 7th of 139 relievers in xFIP. If you prefer ERA, he drops down to 8th. He’s been an amazing reliever for the Pirates, but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves in Pittsburgh. I’m always baffled by the reactions towards...

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First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade
Jun28

First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade

There are two things I feel should be common knowledge by now about relief pitchers. 1. Relief pitchers are very volatile. 2. ERA is a horrible stat to evaluate relievers. The Pittsburgh Pirates have had success finding strong relievers at low costs because they’ve ignored short-term struggles, and have looked past a poor ERA to see potential with advanced metrics. Meanwhile, other teams give out long-term deals to relievers,...

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