First Pitch: Don’t Look Now, But the Pirates Have an Offense
Jun24

First Pitch: Don’t Look Now, But the Pirates Have an Offense

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates won because of their pitching. The pitching staff as a whole combined for a 3.58 xFIP, which tied the Atlanta Braves for third in the majors, and second in the NL. The offense was middle of the pack, by advanced metrics, with the Pirates ranking 13th in baseball with a 98 wRC+. The actual results under-performed the advanced metrics, leading to the Pirates finishing in the bottom third in runs scored....

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First Pitch: The Pirates Are Waking Up at the Right Time
Jun04

First Pitch: The Pirates Are Waking Up at the Right Time

About a week ago, I was thinking up an article that would focus on every single thing that was going wrong for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, leading to their struggles. They were coming off a few wins, so it didn’t seem like the right time to post the article. One week later, they’re wrapping up a successful road trip, and a better article would be something discussing how the team is climbing back into the playoff...

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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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Pittsburgh Pirates Positive Regression Candidates: Pedro Alvarez
Apr30

Pittsburgh Pirates Positive Regression Candidates: Pedro Alvarez

Yesterday I wrote about how the Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot of players who are primed to regress to the mean in a positive manner. Typically when discussing regression, we talk about how someone won’t be able to keep up their strong performances, and will eventually fade. But it’s also possible for players who are struggling to regress to the mean, and improve their current numbers. That’s the case with a lot of...

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First Pitch: It’s Hard For the Pirates to Win When These Five Players are Struggling
Apr28

First Pitch: It’s Hard For the Pirates to Win When These Five Players are Struggling

We’re almost a month into the 2014 season, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a rough start. They’re 10-16, the offense has been poor, and the pitching has been closer to middle of the pack than a top group this year. There are calls for Gregory Polanco to arrive on a daily basis, along with any other help the Pirates can find. Guys like Polanco would help, but the truth is that this team is seeing several of their...

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