Pirates Have One Specific Need Heading into the Winter Meetings

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings take place this week, running Monday through the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. The meetings are a time when things really kick off in free agency and on the trade market. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, I wouldn’t be surprised if the meetings are slow. There aren’t many areas where the Pirates need to seek an upgrade. **They seem to be going...
Via Pirates Prospects
17 days ago  |  Discuss

Au revoir, Russ

The day Pirate fans have been dreading since the middle of the season finally arrived Tuesday, as the Toronto Blue Jays ended the rumors, speculation, and anxiety by signing Russell Martin to a five year, $82 million contract. The writing was certainly on the wall at this point, and the end result was about as painless as possible, given the circumstances. This would be a different...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
November 17, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: The Bridge to Elias Diaz, Who is the Bridge to Reese McGuire

Russell Martin hasn’t signed anywhere yet, but it’s only a matter of time until he ends up picking his team. I don’t think that team will be the Pittsburgh Pirates, as I think his rumored asking price, plus the big market teams involved, will price the Pirates out of the mix. They are currently set up to go with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart in 2015, if that happens...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 14, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Bye, Bye, Russell Martin? And Other Analysis on the Francisco Cervelli Trade

When the Yankees lost Russell Martin in 2013 to free agency, they replaced him with Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli. After acquiring Cervelli tonight, it looks like the Pirates are doing the same thing, although I’m not sure which one will start, or if they’ll split the job. This pretty much signals the end for Russell Martin with the Pirates, which isn’t a surprise...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 12, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Re-Creating Russell Martin in the Aggregate

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how Chris Stewart would be the best option for the Pittsburgh Pirates at catcher if Russell Martin leaves as a free agent. The idea that Martin will leave seems likely. He’s reportedly looking for a five-year deal at $75-80 M, which is close to Brian McCann money (5 years, $85 M). I’m not even sure if Brian McCann deserved Brian McCann...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Will Acquire a Catcher if Russell Martin Signs Elsewhere

This morning on MLB Network, Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington was a guest on Hot Stove and had some interesting comments on the Pirates off-season plans, including their back-up plan if catcher Russell Martin doesn’t re-sign with the club. Below are some excerpts from the interview, which focused on the plan of attack this winter. Huntington is currently in Arizona attending...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 11, 2014  |  Discuss

Is Catcher Pitch Framing Fully Appreciated Yet?

Last night when I was watching the Gold Glove awards being announced, I started thinking about how the awards were doing a much better job this year of going to people with actual good defense. That is opposed to the past trend of giving out an award because of a good offensive season, or highlight reel plays that would be routine plays by better defenders. Basically, there weren’t...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 05, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Is Chris Stewart the Best Catching Option If the Pirates Can’t Re-Sign Martin?

The Pittsburgh Pirates brought in Chris Stewart last year to serve as a defensive specialist behind Russell Martin. Stewart did not exactly specialize in defense during the 2014 season. The catcher posted his best year ever offensively, with a .693 OPS that was over 100 points higher than his career numbers entering the season. That was largely fueled by a .364 BABIP, which is way...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Offseason Notes and Potential Non-Tender Candidates

The first natural reaction to the end of every Pittsburgh Pirates season always seems to be, “Ahh these guys are going to suck next year.” Yeah, it’s true the Pirates don’t have a ton of flashy players outside of Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen but they are still a very good team. I remind you that they’ve gotten tons of production and value out of guys like Harrison...
Via Cheap Seat Analytics
October 10, 2014  |  Discuss

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

An Early Look at the Pirates’ 2015 Payroll Shows Plenty of Room For Russell Martin

Today I finished putting together the 2015 40-man payroll page, which will be updated throughout the off-season, and in to the regular season. Bookmark that link, as I’ll be updating the chart after every move throughout the off-season. The chart provides an estimate  of the year-end 2015 payroll, which will definitely change throughout the off-season. Right now the estimate is...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 07, 2014  |  Discuss

Russell Martin Expects to Play Tomorrow

Russell Martin has been dealing with a hamstring issue, and his status for the Wild Card game was in question. That was until he spoke with the media today. Then there was little doubt that the star catcher would play. Martin said that he felt good enough to play, and when asked what led to that decision, his answer was as simple as can be. “It’s the playoffs,” Martin said...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 30, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Injury Update: X-rays negative on Chris Stewart's wrist

The Pittsburgh Pirates ended the regular season with a 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds to finish at 88-74 on the season. Neil Walker and Chris Stewart each had two hits for the Pirates. Stewart left the game after being hit on the left hand on Johnny Cueto swing. Fortunately X-rays on his Stewart's wrist were negative.  #455677358 / Rob Biertempfel, who covers...
Via Sports Injury Alert
September 29, 2014  |  Discuss

It turns out the Pirates have an afternoon game today (and it’s not going well)

About ten minutes ago, I walked into lab and immediately remembered that the Pirates have an afternoon game today. The Reds were in the process of scoring three runs in the first inning when I turned it on, so that’s where we are right now: the Reds are up 3-0 after a weird review at the plate in which I’m still not sure if they were reviewing whether Devin Mesoraco was safe...
September 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Tony Sanchez to Play in Dominican League This Winter

Tony Sanchez has signed a contract to play in the Dominican League this upcoming winter. Sanchez will strictly be catching, stating that he “won’t even be taking his first base glove down there.” He is excited to play against the good competition the league has to offer. “I’ll spend a month in the Dominican, and I’ll be facing some good arms. Hopefully that will put me...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 3, Red Sox 2

The celebration of the 82nd win was just a little different this year. Instead of relief from the players, satisfaction from those within the organization, and pure joy from the fans, it was just another win.  It happened on the road, but if the 82nd win had been at home last year, the scene at PNC would have been nuts. On Thursday, it was almost shockingly subdued given the situation...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 7, Cubs 3

The final homestand of the season started off as well as you could have hoped, as the Pirates took care of the Cubs in a game that had a “taking care of business” type feel to it. It was a strong crowd, which you’d expect despite a gloomy day / chilly night and HS football under way, but the game didn’t really generate a big time atmosphere. Everyone knew the Pirates should...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Tigers 5, Pirates 2

This was more of how I think most expected this series to go – before the Pirates got pretty lucky and didn’t have to face elite Detroit starting pitching in the first three games (Verlander doesn’t count since he was clearly off his game/possibly injured). The Bucs did have to deal with one legit ace in Max Scherzer, and he absolutely dominated them to lead the Tigers to a...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
August 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Giants Manage to Turn the Oddest Double Play You’ll Ever See after Issuing a Walk

All the fathers and little league coaches in attendance at the Giants-Pirates game on Wednesday were given an excellent free teaching opportunity on how not to act like a functional baseball player. In the 6th inning, Giants reliever Jean Machi issued a walk to the Pirates Chris Stewart, which would have loaded the bases, as Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez were on second and third...
Via Next Impulse Sports
July 31, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates get picked off, run themselves out of inning like a bunch of ding dongs (Video)

Your browser does not support iframes. The Pirates turned back the clock to (anywhere from 1993-2012 take your pick) with this embarrassing blunder on Wednesday. Pittsburgh was up 5-4 on the Giants and Chris Stewart walked to load the bases with one out. It was looking like Pittsburgh was in for a big inning to […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
July 31, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Somehow Run Into Inning-Ending Double Play After Drawing Walk (Video)

The Pittsburgh Pirates turned a great opportunity into an absolute nightmare Wednesday evening. The Pirates were the victims of the ol’ inning-ending double play on a walk, and if you haven’t heard of that one before, it’s because it might be the first time it’s happened in baseball history. We’ll break the shenanigans down for you. With Travis Snider on second base and...
July 30, 2014  |  Discuss

WATCH: Pirates ran themselves into embarrassing double play

This is just awful. The Pirates had a chance to blow their game with the Giants wide open in the sixth inning after Jean Machi walked Chris Stewart to load the bases with one out. And then…disaster. Travis Snider, who was on second base at the time of the walk, inexplicably began to trot down to third base. Machi noticed, and alertly threw to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who got...
Via The Outside Corner
July 30, 2014  |  Discuss

The Pirates ran themselves into an embarrassing double play

This is just awful. The Pirates had a chance to blow their game with the Giants wide open in the sixth inning after Jean Machi walked Chris Stewart to load the bases with one out. And then…disaster. Travis Snider, who was on second base at the time of the walk, inexplicably began to trot down to third base. Machi noticed, and alertly threw to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who got...
Via Bloguin Best
July 30, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 7, Rockies 5

The Pirates were able to escape Colorado without a total disaster, as they navigated through a loooooooong back-and-forth contest and eventually emerged with a series-salvaging win. Seriously, talk about good timing for this Sunday Trib feature on baseball’s slow-pace problem. This was a nine inning game with no rain delays and it took 3:58. By the time a normal game would have...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
July 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Late Recap (Or early recap, whatever) — Game 98: Pirates 5 Rockies 3

In the last few months, I’ve dug pretty deep into Mike Spencer’s great history podcasts. His The History of Rome is more or less essential listening if you’re interested in that particular type of history. Since Rome concluded, he’s started on Revolutions, which is a tour of, well, revolutions, through the Western world; how the English Civil Wars set the stage for the...
July 21, 2014  |  Discuss
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