First Pitch: Predictions on the Final Pirates Roster Moves

The roster for the Pittsburgh Pirates almost seems set. There are technically two bullpen spots available, but there is a pretty good idea who the Pirates will go with. There is one bench spot open, and only two real candidates for that final spot. The bench battle seems up in the air, with closer to 50/50 odds than the bullpen decisions. You add in some of the roster questions...
Via Pirates Prospects
2 hours ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates: Offseason in review, part 3

How are the Pittsburgh Pirates shaping up heading into the 2015 MLB season?  Read part 1 here, where we covered: High point of the offseason High point honorable mention Low point of the offseason Low point honorable mention In part 2, we discussed: Wild card of the offseason Smart non-move of the offseason Poor non-move of the offseason Here in part 3, we tie up all of the loose...
2 days ago  |  Discuss

Why Should You Care About Prospects?

Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, with the schedule moved up to the morning due to expected thunderstorms in the afternoon. So I decided to head over to the Buccos sub-Reddit and hold an AMA (ask me anything, for those unfamiliar with Reddit terminology). The questions were good...
Via Pirates Prospects
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Huntington Notes on the Bench Battle, Final Rotation Spot, Kang, Richard, and Stewart

The Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts today, sending 12 players to minor league camp. None of the moves were that surprising, as every single player sent down was expected to be cut from big league camp at some point this Spring. The one notable name was Jose Tabata. He wasn’t notable because he had a strong chance to make the team, but he was notable because of...
Via Pirates Prospects
4 days ago  |  Discuss

How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, the Pirates spent more money in the amateur draft than any other team. They spent just shy of $50 M in bonuses during that four-year stretch, loading up on projectable prep pitchers, hard-to-sign hitters like...
Via Pirates Prospects
8 days ago  |  Discuss

The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at an easier position, and only focusing on his bat. Hanson was optioned to Indianapolis last week, and the Pirates are hoping he can provide depth at some point this year. “That’s the goal,” Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington...
Via Pirates Prospects
9 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

Tons of Huntington Notes on Taillon, Garcia, Marte, Stewart, Sanchez, Sadler, and More

The Pittsburgh Pirates made their second round of cuts this morning, sending down eight players, including top prospects like Jameson Taillon, Alen Hanson, and Willy Garcia. Neal Huntington talked with the media after the roster moves, discussing the plans for each player, along with a few other roster issues on the big league squad. Here are the notes. Jameson Taillon’s Tommy...
Via Pirates Prospects
12 days ago  |  Discuss

Neal Huntington on Taillon’s Rehab, Diaz vs Sanchez, the Versatile Bench, Bullpen Battle

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington met with the media today at McKechnie Field to discuss today’s cuts and other Spring Training topics. For his comments on the five players who were cut, check out my article from earlier. One big topic was Jameson Taillon’s rehab from Tommy John surgery. Taillon threw his first live batting practice yesterday, facing live hitters...
Via Pirates Prospects
17 days ago  |  Discuss

2015 season preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

After two decades of baseball anonymity, the Steel City has become much more than just a football town thanks to the last two seasons of Pirate prosperity. The ascension of Andrew McCutchen to MVP status has highlighted Neal Huntington’s long rebuilding process, and the Pirates have become one of the best teams in the National League because of it. Now in the throes of success...
Via Bloguin Best
19 days ago  |  Discuss

2015 season preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

After two decades of baseball anonymity, the Steel City has become much more than just a football town thanks to the last two seasons of Pirate prosperity. The ascension of Andrew McCutchen to MVP status has highlighted Neal Huntington’s long rebuilding process, and the Pirates have become one of the best teams in the National League because of it. Now in the throes of success...
Via The Outside Corner
19 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates are Giving Cole Tucker an Aggressive Promotion to West Virginia

Under Neal Huntington, the Pittsburgh Pirates have never been afraid to make an unexpected move, even if that move is largely unpopular. They have been accused of moving prospects too slow, moving prospects too quickly, and even drafting the wrong guys because their public rankings don’t line up with the rankings that the Pirates have. The latter instance occurred last year...
Via Pirates Prospects
20 days ago  |  Discuss

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 James McDonald, but mostly the roster was filled with hard-throwing crap that...
20 days ago  |  Discuss

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 the Pirates just kind of shrugged, pointed out how young he was, and moved...
21 days ago  |  Discuss

Bob Nutting on an International Draft, 2015 Payroll, Winning the Division, and More

Pittsburgh Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting met with the Pittsburgh media today, shortly after delivering his annual address to the players in Spring Training. Nutting said that he told the players that he is enthusiastic about the season coming up, and that the expectation is continued improvement every day, and to win the division and try to win a championship in Pittsburgh again....
Via Pirates Prospects
February 25, 2015  |  Discuss

Burnett returns to Pittsburgh for one final season

  General managers dream of this, right? A desirable free agent calls, tells you he wants to play for your team, tells you he will not negotiate with any other club. Eureka! A negotiation cannot get any easier! “Actually,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said Thursday. “It was almost awkward.” Yes, A.J. Burnett wanted to return to the Pirates, wanted to play one more year, wanted...
Via Fox Sports
February 19, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates being camp searching for final pieces

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates proved their renaissance was no fluke in 2014, making a second straight playoff appearance. It's taking the next step from contender to champion that will prove tricky. Pittsburgh opened up its wallet in the offseason, signing pitcher Francisco Liriano to the richest free-agent contract in club history. The team also brought back A.J. Burnett...
Via AP on Fox
February 17, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates Spring Training Preview: Five Things to Watch For

One of the phrases I most look forward to hearing every new year is “Pitchers and Catchers”. It means the boys of summer are ready to come out and play again. It means the long cold winter will soon be ending. It means another baseball season is just around the corner. For Gerrit Cole and company it means time to get back to work. Pirates pitchers and catchers are scheduled...
Via Hidden Vigorish
February 16, 2015  |  Discuss

Jordy Mercer < 500

I’m not sure any player validates the whole Neal Huntington front office approach quite as much as Jordy Mercer. That seems like a crazy place to start, so bear with me. Mercer was a third-round pick in 2008, drafted one round after Chase d’Arnaud and generally slightly less-well regarded than d’Arnaud in the early part of his career. Mercer didn’t do much of anything in...
February 04, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates Sell High on Travis Snider

Maximizing value is the key to success for any resource starved low revenue major league baseball team. Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington has a fairly strong track record when it comes to buying low on talent. His eye for finding undervalued assets is one of the biggest reasons the Pirates have turned into a contender after so many years of being a laughingstock...
Via Hidden Vigorish
January 28, 2015  |  Discuss

Travis Snider traded to Orioles

The Pirates sent Travis Snider to Baltimore in exchange for pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley and another player to be named later on Tuesday night.  Just when it was looking like the Bucs were done making moves for the winter, Neal Huntington struck again…although this one is a bit of a head scratcher so far. Although there hadn’t been any rumors leading up to this, it shouldn’t...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
January 27, 2015  |  Discuss

Fangraphs on Jung-ho Kang’s defense and the Pirates’ defensive strategies

The key passage from Miles Wray’s article: But I’d like to propose that, at least when it comes to fielding, Kang and the Pirates are a wonderful fit for one another, defensively speaking. I say this because Neal Huntington and his analytics team have been pulling off a wonderful trick for the last three years: in each season, the Pirates have put together an above-average defensive...
January 22, 2015  |  Discuss

Arbitration Settlements and the Pirates Payroll

The Pirates came to terms last week with nine arbitration eligible players. The big winners were Mark Melancon and Josh Harrison. Both received substantial raises. The biggest news was not who the Pirates settled with, but who they did not settle with. Agreements could not be reached with Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Vance Worley. Team policy is to not negotiate once arbitration...
Via Hidden Vigorish
January 18, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates finalize 4-year deal with Korean SS Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH -- Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates employ one of the largest analytics departments in baseball, they are not exactly sure how Jung Ho Kang's outstanding statistics in South Korea will translate to the major leagues. They are willing to find out. Pittsburgh and the 27-year-old infielder finalized an $11 million, four-year contract on a busy Friday for the Pirates. The...
Via AP on Fox
January 16, 2015  |  Discuss

Jung Ho Kang Will Begin His Career in the Majors as a Bat off the Bench For the Pirates

It was no surprise that Jung Ho Kang would be signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. The rumors first came out last week, saying that Kang would be finalizing a deal by the middle of this week. Then there were rumors at the start of this week saying that Kang had agreed to a deal, and would be flying to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. All of that happened, and the Pirates officially...
Via Pirates Prospects
January 16, 2015  |  Discuss
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