First Pitch: Derek Shelton’s Thoughts on Bryan Reynolds, Approach to Analytics and More

MLB Network had Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton on yesterday and asked him about getting the managerial job, the feel around camp, Bryan Reynolds and the possibility of competing for a Wild Card spot. Here’s the three minute clip:

I thought it was interesting how the final question was worded. They basically asked about what needed to go right for the Pirates to be good enough to just miss the playoffs. It obviously wasn’t meant to have bad intentions behind the question, but it really felt like it was the best case scenario for the Pirates this year, at least in my opinion. If they do just miss the Wild Card, something had to go right for them to exceed most expectations.

Shelton, while in front of the Pittsburgh media gave a long response to a question about new pitching coach Oscar Morin and the Pirates expanded use of analytics.

Here he discusses Gregory Polanco and his importance to the lineup

Yesterday’s intrasquad game was on Facebook live yesterday with very little warning that it was coming up. I just happened to check Twitter a few minutes after they announced it, so I posted a very quick article with the link to give everyone a heads up. If I see it again today (assuming they play a game), I’ll get a quick article together again and post the link. It was a rough feed, still camera showing about 30% of the field, with no sound. It’s the literal definition of “better than nothing”.

Jason Mackey is reporting that the Pirates will play three exhibition games (the maximum allowed) against the Cleveland Indians. Nothing is official yet.

**We will have at least four articles today, including the one you’re currently reading. If any news comes up, we will have more. The other scheduled articles for today are as follows:

This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History – The Danny Jackson trade, as well as the birthday of someone who you might see in one of the videos below.

Game Rewind – Pirates take on the Padres in a wild game from the 1975 season, complete with a milestone from Willie Stargell

1979 Season Recap – Bruce Kison leads the Pirates against the Houston Astros

Hope everyone has a great weekend!




Holy Toledo, what a finish!

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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