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
3 days ago  |  Discuss

How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, 10th in ERA, and 24th in xFIP. He has done so well that he has become the set-up man in a dangerous late inning combo that also features Mark Melancon, who has been better than Watson. But the Pirates need two left-handed relievers...
Via Pirates Prospects
28 days ago  |  Discuss

Antonio Bastardo < 500

With most of the early spring training talk about the Pirates being extremely positive, their bullpen is sort of the elephant in the room. Obviously Tony Watson and Mark Melancon are great and John Holdzkom was promising down the stretch last year, but the Bucs’ bullpen blew a lot of leads last year. They did so especially when asked to throw more than two or three innings in a...
February 23, 2015  |  Discuss

The 2015 Altoona Curve Giveaways Are Awesome

The Pirates have a pretty good track record when it comes to fan giveaways. For a long time, it was one of their best marketing tool to draw fans to the games. The promotions/giveaways at the major league level, while still occasionally exciting, have dropped off a bit lately now that attendance is great even without them. The schedule is now largely dominated by T-shirts and fireworks...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
February 20, 2015  |  Discuss

Tony Watson < 500

We are headed into murky territory for the Tony Watson was excellent for the Pirates last year. He struck out a ton of hitters, he had a microscopic ERA, and he did most of his work in the seventh inning or later in close games. The Pirates had bullpen issues last year, but those issues mostly existed in getting the game to Tony Watson and Mark Melancon. On the occasions that the...
February 19, 2015  |  Discuss

The Pirates Will Have to Make Some Tough Roster Choices Now That They’re Contenders

To put it nicely, the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen was a disaster. That’s not exactly nice, but it’s probably the nicest way to describe what happened. Players under-performed, then went on to other teams to look lights out (Jason Grilli, Bryan Morris). The team excelled in previous years with reclamation projects, but didn’t find that same magic for most of the 2014...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 19, 2015  |  Discuss

Neil Walker Ranked Fourth Among All Second Baseman

On Thursday night, MLB Network continued their top ten right now series. Earlier in the night, both Tony Watson and Mark Melancon were named among the best relievers in the Majors. In the second show, Neil Walker was named the fourth best second baseman. On last year’s show, Walker ranked eighth among all second baseman in baseball. That was coming off a season in which he put...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 05, 2015  |  Discuss

Tony Watson and Mark Melancon Rank Among Best Relievers in Baseball

On Thursday night, MLB Network continued their lists of the top ten players at each position in the Majors. The Pittsburgh Pirates had two representatives on the relief pitchers list, with Tony Watson coming in tenth place and Mark Melancon finished seventh. The show also has personal lists from Brian Kenny and Dan Plesac, plus recaps from a panel of experts that includes Bill James...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 05, 2015  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Six Pirates Relievers Who Hit 98+ MPH; Who Will Win a Bullpen Spot?

It’s no secret that Ray Searage and Jim Benedict have done some great things with the pitchers that have come through Pittsburgh the last few years. They have taken pitchers who have been statistically some of the worst pitchers in the game, and turned them into guys who could post top of the rotation numbers. However, when we think of the “reclamation projects”, it always...
Via Pirates Prospects
February 05, 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

All 12 Arbitration Eligible Pirates Players File on Tuesday

All 12 arbitration eligible players from the Pittsburgh Pirates have officially filed for arbitration. The Pirates now have until Friday to either settle with the players or exchange figures. The Pirates have said that they have a “file and trial” system, where if the two sides exchange figures on Friday, they will take the players to a arbitration hearing. The 12 players that...
Via Pirates Prospects
January 13, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates Searching the Trade Market For Lefty Relievers, Also Like RHP Pat Neshek

According to Jon Morosi, the Pittsburgh Pirates are searching the trade market for left-handed relief help. Pirates checking trade market for LH relief options. Tony Watson is their only proven LH reliever after the Justin Wilson deal. — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 9, 2014 As Morosi points out, the team dealt away Justin Wilson, leaving Tony Watson as their only remaining...
Via Pirates Prospects
December 09, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Finding the Second Left-Hander For the Pirates Bullpen

I was thinking about the need for the Pittsburgh Pirates to add a second left-hander to their bullpen this afternoon on two different occasions. The first was when Zach Duke signed a three-year deal for $15 M with the Chicago White Sox. The Pirates later announced a bunch of minor league signings, with one of them being left-hander Jeremy Bleich. These are two ends of the spectrum...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 19, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Recaps: Pirates Showed You Don’t Have to Spend Big to Upgrade the Bullpen

For the past few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired a lot of bounce back candidates in their bullpen, with a lot of those guys actually bouncing back. That approach led to one of the top bullpens in baseball during the 2013 season. Most of that bullpen was returning in 2014, and the Pirates looked to be in good shape. What led to the success in 2013 was the Pirates going...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Set Their Wild Card Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates released their Wild Card roster today, making the final decisions on who they will have available to them in tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants. The rosters are below, and thoughts on the rosters are below that. Pitchers (9) Edinson Volquez Mark Melancon Tony Watson John Holdzkom Jeff Locke Jared Hughes Justin Wilson Vance Worley Bobby LaFromboise...
Via Pirates Prospects
October 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest – welcome to the playoffs

The MLB Postseason is here, and the season is over for 20 of the 30 teams in MLB. For ten, the dream of a championship will continue for at least one more game. Nine of those clubs will end their year disappointed. The playoff race came down to the final day of the regular season, with the Seattle Mariners becoming the final team to bow out of contention. We know the matchups that...
Via Bloguin Best
September 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest – welcome to the playoffs

The MLB Postseason is here, and the season is over for 20 of the 30 teams in MLB. For ten, the dream of a championship will continue for at least one more game. Nine of those clubs will end their year disappointed. The playoff race came down to the final day of the regular season, with the Seattle Mariners becoming the final team to bow out of contention. We know the matchups that...
Via The Outside Corner
September 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 3, Reds 1

Good news and bad news: First, the good. The Bucs won, of course, and San Francsico lost. That means PLAYOFF BASEBALL IS RETURNING TO PNC PARK! There will be at least one more blackout. We’ll get to scream our heads off. And the Pirates will have a chance to advance in a place where they have played extremely well all season. After experiencing the intensity, bedlam, and sheer...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 3, Braves 2

Your browser does not support iframes. Buctober is back. We knew that was coming, of course. After the Brewers series, it was only a matter of time. And I wondered that with the division still in play, a fight for WC home field coming down to the wire, and it not being the first playoff berth in 20 years would result in a more subdued celebration this time around. Of course there...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 24, 2014  |  Discuss

The Pirates are Starting to Get Recognition For Being a Special Team

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. They’ve gone from being just another team in the mix of mediocre Wild Card contenders, to a team that is surging to the front of the pack and sitting in the driver’s seat for home field in the Wild Card game. After starting the month with a four game losing streak, they have gone 14-3, including taking...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 1, Brewers 0

The 2014 regular season home finale was pretty darn perfect. Nice day, sellout crowd (to break the franchise attendance record), an absolute gem from an unexpected source, a go-ahead hit from the most popular man in town right now, and a victory to put the Bucs in a really good spot going into the season’s final week. Probably more satisfying than all of that combined, though...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates TWIBB Notes for Week of 9-15-14 thru 9-21-14

Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 9/15/14 thru 9/21/14, the 25th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 baseball season.   Weekly result: 5 wins and 1 Losses, 21 Runs Scored and 6 Runs Allowed   Hero of the week: Russell Martin. The Pirates scored just 5 runs in the weekend series against the Brewers. Martin drove in 4 of those runs. His clutch hitting was just...
Via Hidden Vigorish
September 21, 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

First Pitch: The Pirates Once Had a Good Bullpen; How Can They Get Back?

The other day I was going back and looking at a few articles that I wrote from the start of the season, when I ran across this title: The Pirates are Returning a Bullpen That Was One of the Best in Baseball At the time it was true. The bullpen was great last year, and the Pirates were returning the same bullpen this year. But five months after that article was written, it’s clear...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 10, 2014  |  Discuss

With a win today, the Pirates could be back in the playoff picture

It’s funny how simple things can be sometimes, isn’t it? The Pirates have played roller coaster baseball the entire second half, and it seems like almost every single time they’re able to string a few wins together, they find themselves back in a playoff spot, no matter how ugly things looked a few days before. The Pirates have beaten the Cubs twice to start this series in...
September 07, 2014  |  Discuss
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