1:31 PM EDT, Mon March 30, 2015
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Backup plans

Backup plans

Last year, the Pirates started the season with Pedro Alvarez at third base, Travis Ishikawa at first base, Wandy Rodriguez and Charlie Morton in the rotation, Jason Grilli in the bullpen, and a right field slot reserved for Gregory Polanco. By the end of the season, Polanco was the only one of those players even […]
I haven’t freaked out yet about Russell Martin’s absence (but maybe I should)

I haven’t freaked out yet about Russell Martin’s absence (but maybe I should)

Now that we’re rolling into season preview season, I’m starting to notice a trend in Pirate previews. There are really, really positive previews and there are guardedly optimistic ones. The dividing line between the two tends to be what the previewer thinks of the absence of Russell Martin. I mainly noticed this while reading the […]
Raise the Jolly Roger! Mar 26, 2015

News and notes: Cutch, Kang, Sanchez, Bullpen

Andrew McCutchen cut his hair. Yep, we’re at the point where a guy getting a haircut qualifies as the biggest news as the day. Twitter was exploding in speculation all morning on Wednesday. here’s to #NewBeginnings #CutchSecret http://t.co/6zbew9eesO — andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) March 25, 2015 The new look will certainly take some getting used to, […]
Andrew Lambo < 500

Andrew Lambo < 500

Every once in a while, there’s a time dilation effect with prospects that makes it hard to properly figure out exactly what sort of player you have on your hands. Andrew Lambo hasn’t been on a Top 100 prospects list since 2009. He actually first hit Double-A and played in the Arizona Fall League the […]

2015 team preview: The Pittsburgh Pirates are legitimate World Series contenders

After two decades without October baseball, the Pirates have made the playoffs in two consecutive years. Can they add a third to the list in 2015? Two years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates surprised many by winning 94 games and returning to the playoffs. It was their first postseason berth since a slightly less grayer Jim Leyland took them to three straight division titles from 1990 to 1992. There were signs that the team was coming around -- those paying attention saw a hot start in 2012 go wasted by a frigid second half -- but an 88-74 pythagorean win record left some doubting whether the...
Over the Monster Mar 21, 2015

Red Sox vs. Pirates: Rusney Castillo returns to starting lineup

Rusney Castillo is ready to make his first official start of spring as the Red Sox take on the Pirates. Rusney Castillo made his return to game action Friday, going deep in his only at bat against the Orioles. Today, he's back in the starting lineup, but playing with the backups as the Red Sox hit the road against the Pirates. Boston Red Sox (9-8) Rusney Castillo, CF Daniel Nava, 1B Allen Craig, LF Garin Cecchini, DH Jemile Weeks, 3B Humberto Quintero, C Jackie Bradley Jr., RF Deven Marrero, SS Jeff Bianchi, 2B Starting Pitcher -- Wade Miley There's some interesting stuff going on here...
Tony Sanchez < 500

Tony Sanchez < 500

Let’s begin here: Chris Stewart has a hamstring injury that will likely cause him to open the 2015 season on the disabled list. That means that Sanchez, who’s crushing the ball this spring (10-for-19 with two doubles and two homers) and has apparently shown some improvement defensively, will probably open the season as Francisco Cervelli’s primary […]
Sean Rodriguez < 500

Sean Rodriguez < 500

There is a chicken-or-the-egg game to be played with Sean Rodriguez and Jung Ho Kang right now that goes a little something like this: Would the Pirates have traded a decentish prospect like Buddy Borden for a player that had been designated for assignment like Sean Rodriguez if they knew that they were only a […]

I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then

Playoff predictions: AL Orioles, Indians, Mariners; DET, NYY. NL Nationals, Pirates, Dodgers; Cardinals, Marlins. PIT to win WS over SEA. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 20, 2015
Jung Ho Kang < 500

Jung Ho Kang < 500

This is what I think is wonderful about Jung-Ho Kang: I have no idea what he’s going to do in 2015. None. With most players, I can make an educated guess based on minor league numbers and key rate stats and other indicators. With Kang, it’s almost impossible to know how any of those sorts […]
NoNoHitters.com Mar 18, 2015

#18, the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that began play as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1887, take up the No. 18 spot on our NoNoHitters 30 list. Pirates’ pitchers have thrown just six no-hitters over the team’s history in the National League. Nick Maddox threw the Pirates’ first no-hitter in 1907, and he was followed by Cliff …
Raise the Jolly Roger! Mar 17, 2015

News and notes: Liriano to start Opening Day

It’s not exactly a surprise, but Clint Hurdle announced on Tuesday that Francisco Liriano will be the Pirates’ Opening Day starter. While I am sure some folks would have liked it to be Cole, Frankie is really the obvious choice to me (not that it matters all that much) – he has been the team’s […]
Corey Hart < 500

Corey Hart < 500

On its face, the Pirates’ signing of Corey Hart this winter was a pretty uninspiring move for all the obvious reasons: Hart missed all of 2013 with knee problems and was awful with the Mariners in 2014. He probably can’t play the outfield anymore, which limits him to first base, which makes him substantially less […]
Chris Stewart < 500

Chris Stewart < 500

If you’ve been paying much attention to the evolution of the sabermetric-leaning public’s understanding of catcher framing for the last couple years, you know that it feels like more of a positive feedback loop than anything: every study that comes out seems to amplify the effect of good framing catchers even further. Last month, Jonathan Judge, […]
Over the Monster Mar 12, 2015

Red Sox vs. Pirates lineup: Starters hit the road with Blake Swihart

The Red Sox are on the road Thursday, but they're bringing the big guns with them to Bradenton. Seniority is supposed to come with certain priviliges in baseball. One of them being the right to avoid the long bus rides that take visiting teams to and from their away schedule in spring. With the schedule being short on home games this week, however, almost the entire starting lineup will make the 90 mile trip from Fort Myers to Bradenton to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston Red Sox (6-2) Shane Victorino, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Hanley Ramirez, LF Pablo Sandoval, 3B Mike...
Arquimedes Caminero < 500

Arquimedes Caminero < 500

In the early years of the Neal Huntington era, Huntington would fill the roster with pitchers like Tyler Yates and Franquelis Osoria and take shots at pitchers like Kevin Hart and Donnie Veal. Occasionally he’d unearth a diamond in the rough like Evan Meek or hit it big on a trade with a pitcher like […]
Raise the Jolly Roger! Mar 11, 2015

Testing the depth

The biggest news of the day for the Pirates wasn’t good: Brandon Cumpton had Tommy John surgery and will be out for an entire year. Obviously this is terrible news for Cumpton (although not surprising, as we learned he would visit James Andrews last week), but it isn’t a huge crisis for the Pirates right away. Cumpton […]

Brandon Cumpton < 500

Brandon Cumpton had Tommy John surgery today. Dr. James Andrews did the procedure. — Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) March 10, 2015
Radhames Liz < 500

Radhames Liz < 500

One of my absolute favorite things about the Neal Huntington front office is that they absolutely do not care what anyone else thinks about what they do. People freaked out last year about the Cole Tucker draft pick and then that the Pirates didn’t save a significant amount of slot money with his bonus, but […]
Stolmy Pimentel < 500

Stolmy Pimentel < 500

The Stolmy Pimentel Story is a pretty straightforward in 2015. He had a rough go of 2014 and spent time bouncing between the bullpen and the disabled list, because he was out of options. The Pirates wanted to hang on to him at all costs, though, because in the 32 2/3 innings that he did […]

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