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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Seeing Similarities in the Pirates’ Two Losses

The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t complete a ninth-inning comeback in their 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs and it there was a sense of déjà vu to the game. Much like in the Opening Day loss, the Pirates got a strong outing from its starting pitcher. James McDonald allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen. “I was happy with the way I competed. Every pitch meant something to...

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Pirates Notebook: Opening Day Start a First for A.J. Burnett

It can be hard to find many “firsts” for a player that is entering his 15th season in the big leagues, but when A.J. Burnett takes the mound on Monday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs he’ll be having one of those moments — his first career Opening Day start. Burnett, now in his second season in Pittsburgh, has spent time with the Marlins, Blue Jays and Yankees in addition to the Pirates but has never been...

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview: The Infield

With Opening Day less than a week away and Spring Training coming to a close in Florida, it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at what the Pirates will put on the field next Monday when the Cubs visit PNC Park. The idea is to do one of these each day. I’ll break down the outfield, starting rotation, bullpen, bench and infield (today’s installment) individually. These are by no means meant to be a definitive prediction of...

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