First Pitch: Who Wants to Hit a Left-Hander?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem. The team has four spots on the field which could require a platoon, due to the fact that they have so many players who can’t hit left-handers. The obvious player is Garrett Jones, who is established as a platoon player at this point. In his career, Jones has an .851 OPS against right-handers, and a .590 OPS against left-handers. The Pirates acquired Gaby Sanchez last year, aimed at...

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First Pitch: Should Travis Snider Be Starting Against Left-Handers?

It’s a question I get often: Why isn’t Travis Snider starting against left-handers? Sometimes it’s straight up. Sometimes it’s wondering if he’s really done enough to establish a trend in the majors. Sometimes it’s just complaining that Brandon Inge is in the lineup. Snider is off to a good start this year. After tonight’s game he has a .288/.366/.397 line on the year. Coming in to the night...

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McDonald to the DL, Martin Day-to-Day

The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 1st, with discomfort in his right shoulder. Jeanmar Gomez will make the start tonight. I wrote a few weeks ago about how there were warning signs of a James McDonald injury. Russell Martin has been scratched from the lineup due neck stiffness and Michael McKenry will now catch and bat fifth.  Martin’s status is day-to-day. Josh Harrison...

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First Pitch: Could the Pirates be 31-23 at the End of May?

We heard at the start of the season how the Pittsburgh Pirates had one of the toughest early season schedules in the game. Despite that schedule, the Pirates are 17-14, in second place in the NL Central, and sitting with the fifth highest winning percentage in the National League. They swept the Reds, took three of five against the Cardinals, and took three of four each against the Braves and Phillies. Now the team is set up for a...

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Pirates Notebook: Five Things We Have Learned About Pirates Hitters

It’s a three-word term you will hear often early in the season: small sample size. Carlos Gomez leads the NL in batting average? Small sample size. Chris Davis is second in the majors in OPS? Small sample size. B.J. Upton is last in the NL in on-base percentage? You get the point. But not all early-season statistics are unreliable noise. If you’re looking in the right places, you can find stats that are indicative of a...

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