First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin
Aug12

First Pitch: If the Pirates are Going to Pay Market Rate on Anyone, Make it Russell Martin

A few weeks ago I wrote that the biggest priority for the Pittsburgh Pirates should be re-signing Russell Martin at the end of the year. On Sunday, Neal Huntington talked about a few of the catchers in the system, and also commented on the possible market for Martin this off-season. The comment was made when discussing Tony Sanchez and his improvements towards being a starter. That raised concerns that the Pirates were setting up for...

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First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015
Aug10

First Pitch: Pirates System Will Have Some Difficult Catching Decisions in 2015

We’ve written a lot this week about the catcher position, with a few articles on Elias Diaz having a breakout season in Altoona, along with some focus on a few lower level players who are having good seasons. The Pittsburgh Pirates have collected a lot of catching prospects, especially in the lower levels. The result is that they’re looking at a lot of tough roster decisions in Bradenton and West Virginia next year. They...

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First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority
Jul22

First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority

Last off-season was filled with a lot of drama surrounding A.J. Burnett, qualifying offers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates approach with free agency and the percentage that individual players take up on the team payroll. Prepare for act two this coming off-season. The Pirates will go through the same situation again with Russell Martin. To be accurate, it won’t be the exact situation. There won’t be a chance of Martin saying...

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First Pitch: The 2014 Version of Jeff Locke Looks Like the Real Deal
Jun25

First Pitch: The 2014 Version of Jeff Locke Looks Like the Real Deal

Last year Jeff Locke was an All-Star in the first half. His 2.15 ERA looked like the numbers of a top of the rotation pitcher. And none of it would last. We threw around the word “regression” last year, talking about how Locke wouldn’t continue pitching the way he was pitching. He had a 3.80 FIP and a 4.21 xFIP in the first half, which suggested the strong ERA wouldn’t last. It didn’t, although Locke went...

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Wandy Rodriguez Designated For Assignment, Russell Martin Activated From DL
May22

Wandy Rodriguez Designated For Assignment, Russell Martin Activated From DL

The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated catcher Russell Martin from the disabled list and to make room on the active roster, they designated pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for assignment. Wandy Rodriguez has struggled all season long, including a tough outing last night. In six starts, he has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. Despite spending time on the disabled list and making three minor league starts, Rodriguez has allowed ten homers this year...

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