Martin’s Role Could Be A Key to Success

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Russell Martin after the 2012 season it was not for his bat — and with good reason. Martin, who turned 30 in February, owns a career batting average of .258 and an OPS of .748 — not terrible but certainly not great. What has been terrible, however, has been Martin’s offensive production. He is sitting on one hit this season. The fact that Martin isn’t lighting it up at the...

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Jonathan Sanchez Shelled As Pirates Lose Sweep Attempt 10-2

When baseball games that count are played in early April, most of the conclusions people draw are based around confirmation bias. These first nine games are no more significant than the nine games that will happen May 8-16 or June 15-23 or whenever. But conclusions are drawn at this point anyway, because all the stats that show up on the TV screen and scoreboard rely solely on these nine games and because we have not seen these...

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Pirates Notebook: Locke Looks to Stick Around After Making Roster

A weekend start at Dodger Stadium presents Jeff Locke a familiar setting for a new kind of outing. He pitched here in September 2011 for his second career Major League start and first on the road. It was even his first time in California. It was an experience Locke says was “overwhelming,” and he was done after only three innings without even getting a strikeout. “By the time I came out of the game, I didn’t...

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First Pitch: Who Should Bat Second?

At the end of Spring Training, the Pittsburgh Pirates started using Garrett Jones as a number two hitter. I wrote about the topic during the final week, and noted that Clint Hurdle said the team was also looking at Neil Walker, Russell Martin, and Travis Snider as other options. He also said that they would be looking for some consistency throughout the year. So far the number two hitter hasn’t been consistent. Jones started...

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Pirates Notebook: Jonathan Sanchez Making Pirates Debut

Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez will be making his first regular season start for the Pirates on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. “Jonathan has made as good a stride as anyone we had in camp, with the command, with the four-pitch mix,” Hurdle said. “He’s excited. He’s in the best place he’s been: physically, self-confidence, all those things packed together.” Catcher Michael McKenry (not in...

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