The Art of Pitching: Mastering the Sinkerball
Mar11

The Art of Pitching: Mastering the Sinkerball

During the first week of Spring Training, I was watching the Major League pitchers doing their daily throwing programs, commonly referred to as long toss. For me, this time period involves snapping pictures for Instagram, waiting for players to start throwing bullpens, and taking notes on what I see the players throwing or working on during their flat ground sessions. On this particular afternoon I noticed Charlie Morton and Brandon...

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The Four Hidden Wins the Pirates Are Getting From Their Catchers
Mar03

The Four Hidden Wins the Pirates Are Getting From Their Catchers

There has been a lot of talk the last few years about pitch framing for catchers, along with the importance of blocking skills. In the last year this has become a big topic for the Pirates, due to the signing of Russell Martin, who is rated one of the best pitch framers in the game. Despite the realization of the value of pitch framing and blocking, we haven’t really had an accurate way of calculating the actual value of a good...

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First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing
Feb26

First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing

Heading into the 2013 season, I was looking at Tony Sanchez as a guy who would only have value in the majors for his defense. He was showing good defensive skills in the minors, but wasn’t hitting, and that included a lack of power. Perhaps that was due to multiple broken jaws, which caused him to lose a lot of weight and muscle. Or maybe it was that he needed a change in approach. Whatever it was, Sanchez turned things around...

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First Pitch: The Lack of Third Base Depth
Feb25

First Pitch: The Lack of Third Base Depth

Today the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Brent Morel off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. The move isn’t exactly inspiring. Morel doesn’t have good offensive numbers in his time at the major league level, and that includes any platoon splits. It’s normal for a waiver claim to lack noticeable appeal. The players who are on waivers were the guys who were the 40th best player on their former team’s 40-man roster....

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Spring Training Notes: Burnett Reactions, Martin, Volquez, Wandy, Health
Feb14

Spring Training Notes: Burnett Reactions, Martin, Volquez, Wandy, Health

The Pirates opened Spring Training yesterday with the first workouts for pitchers and catchers. For all of our Spring Training coverage from yesterday and the rest of the Spring, check out the Spring Training page on the site. Below are the leftovers from day one, along with some video and a great quote from Russell Martin on the team’s chances in 2014. A.J. Burnett Reactions Russell Martin reacting to A.J. Burnett signing with...

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