Jeff Locke makes rotation, John Holdzkom optioned to Triple-A

The Pirates’ final roster decisions are coming quickly with the season less than a week today. Yesterday, they announced that Jeff Locke would get the final spot in the starting rotation, with Vance Worley headed to the bullpen. Today, John Holdzkom was among the players the Pirates demoted to Indianapolis, giving the bullpen more or less its final shape. Picking Locke over Worley...
14 hours ago  |  Discuss

Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including John Holdzkom. Rob Scahill and Blake Wood were also sent down, trimming the number of candidates down for the final two bullpen spots. “We had a handful of guys that deserve to be on a Major League club,” Huntington...
Via Pirates Prospects
17 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were one or two bullpen spots available when camp began, and the last few weeks have seen certain players step up to become favorites for those roles, while other players look to be playing their way off the team. Here is a look...
Via Pirates Prospects
7 days ago  |  Discuss

Minors Notes: No Tommy John Setbacks For Holmes, John Sever Strikes Out Rowdy Tellez

Pittsburgh Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington has mentioned several times that the Pirates anticipate setbacks when it comes to players recovering from Tommy John surgery. Those setbacks aren’t always physical, but can sometimes be the hesitancy to throw a certain pitch or to face live batters. Most of these references by Huntington have been towards Jameson Taillon, who...
Via Pirates Prospects
9 days ago  |  Discuss

Carter doubles twice, singles as Astros beat Pirates 13-7

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Chris Carter was 3 for 3 with two doubles and four RBIs to break out of a spring-training slump and lift the Houston Astros over the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-7 Tuesday. Carter had entered 1 for 13 with two RBIs in the exhibition season. Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke was roughed up for six runs and seven hits in three innings, leaving him with a 9.00 ERA. ''Left...
Via AP on Fox
14 days ago  |  Discuss

Francisco Liriano Named the Opening Day Starter; Is Locke Losing Ground to Worley?

On a day where Jeff Locke struggled on the mound — a few days after Vance Worley looked outstanding — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t ready to make a decision on the final spot in the rotation. “We don’t need to at this point in time,” Hurdle said. “They just got to 67 pitches. Both of them have very good history.” However, Hurdle did announce his Opening...
Via Pirates Prospects
14 days ago  |  Discuss

Francoeur, sweet relief back Hamels in Phillies’ win

Jeff Francoeur's RBI single off Jeff Locke capped a two-run sixth and lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Pirates at Bright House Field on Wednesday.
Via Philly Sports Live
20 days ago  |  Discuss

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 wasn’t going to be on the Opening Day major league roster...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
21 days ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke < 500

I finally got a chance to peruse this year’s Baseball Prospectus this weekend and among other things in the Pirates’ section (including a great team essay by Sarah Sprague, if you needed another reason to pick the book up) I was surprised to find this in the Jeff Locke blurb: Despite being optioned three times last year, including once as a procedural move, Locke found time to...
22 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirate Blogs Roundup: Korean Media, Jeff Locke Trade Bait, Offseason Recap

The Pirates began their Grapefruit League schedule this week against a familiar friend. Russell Martin had nothing but kind words for his old buddies as he reflected on his time in Pittsburgh. The 75th birthday of legendary Pirate Willie Stargell was also marked this week. Here is a roundup of the best posts from Pirates bloggers for the week ending March 7, 2015:   Charlie...
Via Hidden Vigorish
24 days ago  |  Discuss

First Pitch: The Pirates Definitely Shouldn’t Be Trading Jeff Locke Now

Last week, as part of our new weekly Q&A feature on the site, I received the following question. Elliot Hicks: Charlie Wilmoth at Bucs Dugout posted a good article on Jeff Locke being a possible trade candidate. What would you think about a Locke trade if Worley wins the 5th starter spot? I linked the referenced article in the question above. I haven’t had a chance to fully...
Via Pirates Prospects
28 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates Spring Training An Audition For Rotation Spots

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had back-to-back appearances in the MLB postseason, something the organization hadn’t done since making it three straight appearances from 1990-92. If the team hopes to equal the early 1990s streak, or even extend it into further seasons, then the Pirates’ brain trust will need to answer questions revolving around who will be in their starting rotation...
Via Baseball Essential
29 days ago  |  Discuss

First Pitch: The Pirates Pitching Depth, as Told Through Flow Charts

Last night I uploaded flow charts, illustrating the depth at each position in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I enjoyed making the charts, and I’m glad that so many of you enjoyed reading the article. A few of you requested that I do the same for the pitching staff, and that would be fitting today, since I just previewed the starting rotation battles heading into...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 18, 2015  |  Discuss

It’s Vance Worley vs Jeff Locke For the Lone Battle in the Rotation

This is shaping up to be one of the least surprising Spring Trainings I can remember for the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are very few position battles, with most of the roster spots already spoken for. That is probably a side effect of being a contending team, and a buyer over the off-season. An example of this can be seen in the rotation. The Pirates added two free agent starters...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 17, 2015  |  Discuss

Projecting the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates as a 90 Win Team

In each of the last two years, whenever the ZiPS projections came out, I did a separate article using those projections to get an overall projection for the Pittsburgh Pirates that year. In 2013, that projection had the Pirates at 83 wins. That was low, since they ended up with 94 wins, although the projection was much higher than every other projection out there. Last year I did...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 06, 2015  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Mini Camp Roster

Today is the start of mini camp for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Pirate City. The technical term is “voluntary workouts” or something like that, since they can’t officially call it “mini camp” anymore. However, that’s basically what is going on here, with the MLB players in camp through Friday, and the minor league players in camp for at least two weeks (and some will be...
Via Pirates Prospects
January 12, 2015  |  Discuss

NL Wild Card: Pirates vs. Giants

Choosing who to root for tonight is basically a no-brainer for me. The most obvious reason is the fact that the Giants have won two World Series titles in the last five years, while the Pirates haven’t tasted victory in over three decades. But as I’ve noted in this space before, the Pirates boast a player from my home town of North Conway, NH (population: 2,349). Though Jeff...
Via In The Neutral Zone
October 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Clint Hurdle on the Roles for Worley and Locke, and Morel over d’Arnaud

Earlier today the Pittsburgh Pirates released their Wild Card roster. There weren’t too many surprises. When asked if he considered Francisco Liriano in a relief role, Clint Hurdle simply said “No.” He also discussed a few of the moves that rounded out the roster. The Roles For Vance Worley and Jeff Locke Last year the Pirates went with Francisco Liriano as their starter...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 01, 2014  |  Discuss

The Pirates and Giants played some crazy games this year

The Pirates will meet the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night in the NL Wild Card game. The game will be at PNC Park because the Pirates won the season series 4-2 (taking two of three at PNC and at AT&T). The two teams finished with identical records, and amazingly enough, identical run differentials (+51). I’ll be looking at this matchup in a number of posts before the...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Playoff and Rotation Watch: Friday 9/26

The Pirates enter the night 1 game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central and 1 game ahead of the Giants for the top Wild Card spot. Three games (including tonight) remain for each team. The Pirates (Worley) play the Reds (Leake) at 7:10. The Cardinals (Wacha) play the Diamonbacks (Cahill) at 9:40. The Giants (Vogelsong) play the Padres (Kennedy) at 10:15. Since they have the tiebreaker...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 26, 2014  |  Discuss

If the Pirates are going to win the NL Central, they probably have to win tonight

Sorry for the lack of recap from last night; I’m trying to get a bunch of things in line this week since THE PLAYOFFS ARE NEXT WEEK and I just didn’t have much to say. Jeff Locke sucked, it would’ve been awesome if the Pirates won because the Cardinals and Giants both lost, but then it wasn’t quite as bad that they lost because those two other things happened. Frankly, I...
September 25, 2014  |  Discuss

Braves 6, Pirates 2

The Pirates missed an opportunity to draw even with the Cardinals in the loss column as they lost in pretty lifeless fashion on Wednesday night. It was the type of game we haven’t been accustomed to lately – they pitched poorly and were never really in it. Jeff Locke was a mess – you could smell trouble when he started issuing walks early, and the trouble came pretty quickly...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 25, 2014  |  Discuss

It’s Hangover Day, but these games are not quite meaningless

The Pirates have a wild card spot locked up and last night’s celebration was all kinds of fun, but the reality is that there’s still a little bit of work left to be done in the 2014 regular season. At the bare minimum, the Pirates need to win enough games from here on out to ensure that the Wild Card Game is played on their terms at PNC Park. With a one-game lead and a tiebreaker...
September 24, 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

Pirates Win a Game of Trends

In baseball, it’s often the trends and history against teams and players that can make or break a team. Tonight, it was a bit of both, as the Pirates ultimately came out on top 4-2, via an 8th inning three run homer from Russell Martin. On the bad side of trends, the Pirates continued their struggles against Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo took a 2.67 career ERA against the Pirates into...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 19, 2014  |  Discuss
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