First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?
Jul20

First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?

Over the winter there was a lot of talk about how the Pittsburgh Pirates were adding a lot of high beta players. The term first came up when David Todd described Francisco Liriano as a high beta player, pointing out that there were many possible outcomes for his 2013 season, ranging from very bad to very good. I wrote about how the Pirates had a roster full of those players, and how the 2013 season would depend on the success/failure...

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First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons
Jul11

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

Last night I wrote about how the problem with the Pirates offense this year has been that three positions in the lineup struggle against left-handed pitching. Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and the right-field duo of Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have all struggled against lefties this year. Platoons are very underrated. Or should I say the left-handed side of the platoon is underrated. Just look at a lot of the comments about Gaby...

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Pirates Notebook: Wandy Rodriguez Shut Down, More Injury Updates
Jun29

Pirates Notebook: Wandy Rodriguez Shut Down, More Injury Updates

Well, Gerrit Cole, it seems your spot in the rotation is safe for a while. The Pirates provided updates on their many injured pitchers: Wandy Rodriguez has been shut down from pitching after continuing to feel left forearm tightness in a throwing session yesterday. He will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff to “determine the next steps,” the team said. Minor league pitchers Kyle McPherson and Phil Irwin (right...

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Pirates Beat Angels in 10-9 Thriller: What We Learned
Jun24

Pirates Beat Angels in 10-9 Thriller: What We Learned

It would be difficult to describe all the important events of the Pirates’ 10-9 extra-innings victory to sweep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Frankly, any such description would not do justice to the most exciting game of the 2013 season. Instead of trying to re-tell all that happened, let’s treat this win like I try to treat every game: a chance to learn more about this Pirates team that is so fascinating, so...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Need to Upgrade the Offense, and Right Field Stands Out
Jun20

First Pitch: The Pirates Need to Upgrade the Offense, and Right Field Stands Out

We’ve talked a lot lately about how strong the starting pitching has been this year. From the best five starters to all of the depth options, the Pirates have gotten great results. Things could get better in a few weeks when they’re hopefully choosing between Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton for the fifth spot, while having no space for James McDonald and Jeanmar Gomez. A lot of teams would love to be in that position. On...

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