First Pitch: What Are the Pirates’ Needs This Off-Season?

By the end of the month, we’ll be getting a good idea of who will be available as free agents, and who might make sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates. We don’t have to wait until then to see the off-season needs for this team. I’ve been prepping for the off-season this week, looking at the projected payroll, projected 25-man roster, and some of the biggest team needs. Here is...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Minor League Recaps and Top 10 Lists

Yesterday we completed the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates minor league recaps, finishing with the GCL Pirates. Each recap featured notes on all of the best prospects at each level, along with a season-ending top 10 list. The lists are basically rough draft versions, which will be finalized in the 2015 Prospect Guide. Our top 50 prospects for the 2015 season will also be included in the...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Playoff and Rotation Watch: Wednesday 9/24

Even though the Pirates have clinched a postseason spot, there are a number of things to keep track of if you’re wondering where they’ll end up, how the rotation will fall, etc. Until everything is set, I’ll try and lay the situation out here before each day’s set of games. Pirates’ record: 86-71, 5 games left (2 at Braves, 3 at Reds) Tonight: Jeff Locke vs. Julio Teheran...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 24, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: An Early Look at the Depth Out of Indianapolis in 2015

Today we started our 2014 season recap series by looking at the 2014 Indianapolis Indians. As the Triple-A team, Indianapolis obviously provides the depth for the Pirates throughout the year. This year the depth wasn’t that strong on the position player side, although the additions of Vance Worley, Jeff Locke, and Brandon Cumpton helped the rotation at times throughout the year...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 17, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Indianapolis Indians Season Recap and Top 10 Prospects

Despite a strong start to the season, Indianapolis seemed to hit a wall in July. After earning a hefty advantage in the International League West early, Indianapolis finished six games behind Columbus and missed the playoffs. While the last two seasons they had made the playoffs, Indianapolis had been an early exit due to the Pirates being competitive late in the season. This season...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Andrew McCutchen: ‘I’m not 100 percent, and I realize that’

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen left the team’s 5-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals with left rib discomfort. McCutchen left Tuesday’s game in the sixth inning because his ribs were feeling “just sore” and to “take a little break” that will allow him to return for Wednesday’s finale against the Cardinals. “The plan is to play [Wednesday],”...
Via Sports-Glory
August 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Nats 6, Pirates 5

What a crushing weekend for the Pirates. Three one-run losses, two walk off losses, two blown-leads by their best relievers, a season-long losing streak (longest since 2012), and a lot of ground lost in the various playoff races. This game was a wild one, and wasn’t exactly well-played by either side at several points. Edinson Volquez and Doug Fister both looked great, but both...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
August 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Hairston's SF lifts Nationals past Pirates in 11

WASHINGTON (AP) Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston's sacrifice fly with one out in the 11th inning scored Jayson Werth to give the Washington Nationals a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night and complete a three-game sweep. Werth, who had missed the last five games with a bothersome shoulder, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and doubled leading off the...
Via AP on Fox
August 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates acquire famous mustache-haver, occasionally effective reliever, John Axford

After watching Stolmy Pimentel and Brandon Cumpton turn close games into sure-fire losses on back-to-back days, the Pirates acquired John Axford from the Indians this evening. It doesn’t appear that the Indians will get anything in return for Axford other than salary relief, as the Pirates are now on the hook for what’s left of the $4.5 million the Indians owed him this year...
August 14, 2014  |  Discuss

This looks like the beginning of a long night

This is the last Pirates/Tigers game scheduled to be played in PNC Park this year, and the Pirates and Tigers are both locked in razor-thin playoff battles. There is also quite a bit of rain in the forecast for Pittsburgh this evening. This could be a long night. The Pirates made a roster move this afternoon in anticipation of that possibility; Casey Sadler was sent down after pitching...
August 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 2, Padres 1

It’s no secret how to beat the Padres – who are ten games under .500 despite leading the NL in ERA. Pitch well, play good defense, and score just enough runs. The Bucs did just that, got another win without their big guns, and kept things rolling at home. Beating the Padres at PNC Park has been an extreme rarity, so taking care of business was nice. And thanks to losses by...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
August 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 91: Cardinals 5 Pirates 2

This game was long and terrible and I don’t want to spend much more time thinking about it, so let’s do bullet points: At one point in I think the third inning, the ESPN announcers mentioned that the Cardinals had fouled something like 17 of Brandon Cumpton’s 60 pitches off. On most nights, that would have sounded insane and I would’ve wanted to count for myself. This did...
July 10, 2014  |  Discuss

Cardinals 5, Pirates 2

Unlike the last two nights, this was a plain old loss that you can’t really complain too much about. It had its frustrating moments for sure, but the Pirates were outplayed from start to finish and that’s going to happen from time to time. The thing is, that’s what makes the two walk off losses with all the men LOB with RISP hurt so much. You’re going to get flat-out beat...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
July 10, 2014  |  Discuss

Tonight’s goal: do better

Look, I can’t spend much more time talking about the bullpen or the Pirates’ record against the non-Cubs teams in the NL Central. The bullpen needs to pitch better in close games that they don’t have a lead in, and the Pirates need to win games against the Cardinals, Cubs, and Reds. That’s it. Starling Marte is not with the team tonight, as he’s headed back to the Dominican...
July 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Cardinals' confidence growing by leaps and bounces

It's taken only 10 days for the St. Louis Cardinals to trim 3 1/2 games off their NL Central deficit, and they're gaining even more confidence as the All-Star break approaches following back-to-back dramatic victories. St. Louis sends Lance Lynn to the mound Wednesday night as it looks to take the first three of a four-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Matt Adams...
Via Fox Sports Midwest
July 09, 2014  |  Discuss


Four times this year, the Pirates have won the first game of a series against a division foe, only to drop the remaining two or three games remaining in the series. Since most of those series happened when the Pirates were struggling, the first win was encouraging and the subsequent losses were deflating.  The Pirates have a chance to flip the tables against the Cardinals now after...
July 08, 2014  |  Discuss

The Pirates in June: an improbable return to relevance

On May 31st, the Pirates got smoked by the Dodgers. The 12-2 loss ballooned Brandon Cumpton’s ERA up to 6.85. The Pirates were 25-30 and Pirate fans were attempting to talk ourselves into May being a good month due to the Pirates’ 15-14 record, though that meant ignoring their 111/137 run differential that month. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Gerrit Cole would go down...
June 30, 2014  |  Discuss

Mets 5, Pirates 3

Gerrit Cole‘s return to the rotation was not a triumphant one, as he had a very poor outing to end the Bucs’ recent string of strong starting pitching efforts. Cole’s velocity was fine, but he wasn’t locating – especially his secondary stuff – and suffered two very long, miserable innings to start the game. It was 5-0 Mets pretty quickly, and although Cole was able...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
June 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Game Chatter: Jacob deGrom vs. Brandon Cumpton (6/27/14)

Related Posts:Game Chatter: Jacob deGrom vs. Brandon Cumpton (5/26/14)Game Chatter: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Jacob deGrom (5/21/14)Game Chatter: Jacob deGrom vs. Kyle Kendrick (5/31/14)Game Chatter: Chase Whitley vs. Jacob deGrom (5/15/14)Game Chatter: Jacob deGrom vs. Tom Koehler (6/21/14)
June 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Brandon Cumpton’s last stand (for now)

With Gerrit Cole returning to the rotation tomorrow night and an off-day on Monday, I think that there’s an awfully good chance that no matter the results of tonight’s game, Brandon Cumpton is going to be headed back down to Triple-A after his start tonight. A lot of Pirate fans want to see Jason Grilli removed from the roster at this point and while I think that’s a move that’s...
June 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Mets Notes: deGrom Gunning For Second Win, Tejada and Duda Have Been Hot In June

  The Mets will try to snap their two-game losing streak when they continue their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at PNC Park. Jacob deGrom (1-4, 3.75) opposes right-hander Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.93) in a 7:05 PM matchup. DeGrom won his first major league game in his last start on June 21 at Miami, tossing 7.0 shutout innings, allowing five hits, walking three...
Via Mets Merized Online
June 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates at Tampa Bay Rays game preview

TV: Sun Sports Time: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Playoff appearances by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays a year ago may seem like distant memories now, but both clubs are hoping solid efforts in their previous series will help them turn around their fortunes. The Rays host the Pirates for the first time in 11 seasons in the opener of a three-game set Monday night...
Via Fox Sports Florida
June 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 75: Pirates 2 Cubs 1

With his spot in the rotation probably on the line, Brandon Cumpton turned in maybe his best start of the season for the Pirates. He held the Cubs to just two hits in seven shutout innings, striking out four and walking two. The Cubs really only threatened against him in the sixth inning, when they put two runners on base with only one out. He worked out of that jam, though, and...
June 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 2, Cubs 1

The Pirates got the job done, winning the series after the loss on Friday. Ironically, they can thank a couple of players in danger of losing playing time soon for the victory. Brandon Cumpton delivered his best start of the year, making a bit of a statement in advance of Gerrit Cole‘s return (which will likely boot him from the rotation). Cump was extremely effective and efficient...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
June 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Sunday Morning: Vance Worley, Instant Replay, and Brandon Cumpton

You certainly haven’t forgotten the great Edinson Volquez Debates of the Winter of 2014, in which the value of spending $5 million on what was almost certainly a broken pitcher was debated and debated and debated some more. I’m not sure where everyone else ended up (I dunno, there was a lot of yelling about AJ Burnett at the time), but my basic final conclusion on the Volquez...
June 22, 2014  |  Discuss
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