Jon Heyman covers a bunch of different things.
In the modern game, since 1961, there never has been a longer expansion drought. Baseball has not added a new team since admitting the Diamondbacks and Rays in 1998.
Last October, was the first full-season World Series without a 90-win team. Bookmakers peg only the Nationals and Dodgers to win 90-plus games this season. Manuel believes the lack of expansion has increased parity. Why?
“Pitching has had a chance to catch up,” he said.
Run scoring declined in baseball for an eighth ...
The Pirates, meanwhile, are optimistic the catcher they acquired from the Yankees, Francisco Cervelli, will replicate much of what Martin offered defensively, if not his .832 OPS from 2014.
Heck, Martin probably will not match that outlier; his OPS the previous five seasons had been .702. But the Jays will be a postseason threat if they get even league-average pitching to complement their dynamic lineup. And that’s where Martin should make a difference.
Stats, charts, breakdowns, snark and the surprising admission that the best thing about the Cardinals is “The players, probably. The players are pretty good.”
Andrew McCutchen probably wants more Pavement played at ballparks.
Former National League MVP and perennial All-Star Andrew McCutchen has made his name in part due to his skills as a center fielder, but apparently would get by just fine if he never heard John Fogerty’s 1985 hit song “Centerfield” again at the ballpark.
So writes the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise in a questionnaire he filled out at the Players’ Tribune on Friday.
The exact question: “The song I never want to hear ...
Pirates options as Spring Training winds down.
Partly because of his size, there are believers the power will migrate. Dan Farnsworth, a swing analyst for Fangraphs.com, predicted immediate stardom for Kang, just as he did for another unknown, Cuban hitter Jose Abreu.
The believers include the Pirates. Kang peppered the metal roof of batting cages beyond the left-field fence at a Pirate City back field early this spring. In his second spring at-bat, he homered to right-center against Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada.
“What I’m seeing (is) that he’s feeling real good, the ball is coming out of his hand very nice,” Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage said after a recent spring training workout. “He looks free and easy. You don’t have to watch him long to understand why he is so highly regarded.”
Corey Hart got 3 stitches Sunday after slicing foot on hot tub. The good news is that Hart is only expected to be out for a few days.
So the Pirates extended him another lifeline, encouraging him to seek former short-lived teammate Marlon Byrd’s help in doctoring his swing. The Pirates have not given up on Tabata, because they can’t afford to—the contract he preserved by accepting those Minor League assignments pays him $4 million this season, making him the team’s fourth-highest-paid position player, whether he is on the team or not.
It seems like they intend to give him a chance to make the big-league roster.
“We believe we’ve brought in a player who’s going to be an everyday player,” manager Clint Hurdle said Monday. “When that happens, we don’t know. We want to prepare him for a starting role, see how the season plays out, see where he can fit and what he can add. Everybody’s vision down the road is for this man to post up and become a regular player in the Pirates’ lineup.”
Kang played shortstop in South Korea ...
An interview with Travis Sawchik, author of the upcoming book “Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak.”
6. Seattle Mariners
Probably unintentional, but the number 6 meme lives!
2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.
Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.
There are big ...
Josh Harrison’s path to the big leagues.
A really good look at what the Pirates are doing on defense.
I think we missed this one…?
[Jordy] Mercer… might be the player most directly affected by the Pirates’ impending signing of Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang, who took things a step further by essentially stating his intent to be the Pirates’ regular shortstop…
“It’s nice to see [Kang’s] confidence, for sure. I’m not going to come back at him. There’s no reason for that,” Mercer said. “I think we can settle on the field. All that will take care of itself, really. There’s no reason for me to come ...
I sounds like the Pirates don’t love Pedro’s choice not to attend their minicamp.
Would this lower or raise the bar of sainthood?
The Pirates and Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang are moving close to a deal, sources said.
The sides have been talking about a four-year deal for the power-hitting infielder who had a monster year for the Nexen Heroes last year, hitting 40 home runs and batting .356 in 117 games. Both sides appear intent on getting a deal done.
The Pirates have won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The amount of the winning bid has yet to be reported, but Kang’s former club, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, will reportedly accept the bid.
The Heroes, you say???
Wait, we’re supposed to be mad at Coonelly here??
We looked at the Giancarlo Stanton mega-contract with suspicious eyes… Well, Pirates president Frank Coonelly spilled the beans to Rob Biertempfel of Trib Live:
“(Coonelly) talked about an exchange he had with Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson during the recent owner’s meetings.
“‘They thought it was a great deal,’ Coonelly said. ‘I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t ...
Bad news about Parker.
The Battered Bastardo of Baseball.
The Phillies are close to sending Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, and according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and MLB Daily Rumors’ Robert Murray, sent left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo to the Pirates in exchange for minor league pitcher Joely Rodriguez.
Bastardo, 29, posted a 3.94 ERA and 3.10 FIP in 64 innings with the Phillies last season. He struck out 81, walked 34, and owns a career 3.72 ERA. Bastardo has been efficient in six major league seasons, ...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have brought back Francisco Liriano, agreeing to a three-year, $39 million deal with the left-hander, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
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