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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Jung Ho Kang appears in Korean court over DUI charges, vows to become ‘exemplary player’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Player or person? Was this a problem of translation or perspective?

“I deeply regret what I have done,” Kang told Yonhap News. “If I can get one last chance, I will become an exemplary player to earn respect from everyone.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In a world without stats, who would be the best baseball player?

This started with a crush on Starling Marte.

Marte is an outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates and my favorite baseball player to watch. He’s fast enough to have stolen 47 bases last year, third-most in the majors. His arm is one of the best in the game, capable of firing 101 mph bullets from the outfield. He is strong enough to have hit a baseball 460 feet, something only 48 other hitters have accomplished outside of Coors Field over the past two years. (Bryce Harper hasn’t. Mike Trout hasn’t.) He might be the most creative base slider in the game. He has demonstrated a talent for getting hit by pitches. Over the past three years, he has been the best defensive left fielder in the game, and this year, he will finally get to be a very good defensive center fielder.

I also know (or think I know) exactly how good Marte is: He was the 28th-best position player last year (by WAR) and the 53rd-best hitter (by OPS+). You might think those advanced stats are junk, but whatever stats you prefer, you have some idea how good he is: The 13th-best hitter (by batting average) or the 91st-best (by runs scored). We’ve all got stats. We all use our stats.

What if we had none? Not just no WAR but no nothin’. What if some ministry of information outlawed the collection of baseball statistics and we were all left to judge players exclusively by what we saw, what we perceived and what we remembered? Who would be perceived as the best player in baseball? Who would be the first player chosen in a franchise draft? Or, the more important question: With how much eye-rolling would actual major league general managers respond to a weird thought experiment on the subject?

Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:23 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, sabermetrics

Pirates’ Cervelli on mend, team ‘refocused’ | MLB.com

“I think it’s going to be good for us. You need to have the step back before you take the step forward. I love that phrase,” Nutting said. “We certainly had a step back. We underperformed last year to the abilities of our club. I believe that’s been good for the organization. I believe it’s been good individually for some of the players, and it’s refocused us and improved our commitment. … We need to focus on how we move forward, how we push, how we deliver a level of excellence beyond what we’ve done in the past.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Polanco prepares for a full season, new position | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Will this be his breakout year?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2017 at 01:08 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gregory polanco, pirates

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dear Pittsburgh

In this case, I hope the best decision the Pirates made this off-season was the trade they didn’t make.  There are not enough heart emoji’s in the world to adequately express my affection for this player. 

Russ Posted: February 17, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Starling Marte says he is fine with offseason switch to center field | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates outfield needs to stay healthy this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2017 at 09:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, starling marte

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kang to miss start of camp because of trial in South Korea | TribLIVE

The first full-squad workout will be Friday. Kang remains in South Korea, where his trial on drunken-driving charges is set for Feb. 22.

“It is not known how long the trial will last or when any sentencing phase that might be necessary would be scheduled,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to do whatever we can to assist (Kang) and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters, so Jung Ho will be able to travel to the United States to prepare for and to play in the 2017 season, but his reporting date remains undetermined.”

With Kang out indefinitely, veteran David Freese could be in line for extra playing time at third base after the Grapefruit league season begins March 25.

“I’m not really focused on Jung Ho. I hope everything works out however it should,” Freese said. “I’m just going to come in here and do my thing. If my name is on the lineup card, I’ll get after it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

Monday, February 06, 2017

Andrew McCutchen to play right field in 2017 | MLB.com

More info on the Pirates outfield realignment.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, gregory polanco, pirates, starling marte

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell undergoes surgery on left knee, faces 2-4 week recovery | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Josh Bell was coming into Spring Training ready to challenge for the Pirates’ starting first base job. He may have to wait.

The Pirates’ third-ranked prospect underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove a loose body from his left knee, and will be sidelined two to four weeks. That leaves uncertain his status for Opening Day.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 02:09 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, josh bell, pirates

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What if this Drew Hutchison Thing Actually Worked Out?

Believing in the power of Ray Searage.

Now he’s getting a fresh start and moving to an easier league and ballpark to pitch in, plus has the Ray Searage effect that could do wonders for him. His career 38.6 GB% would be the lowest of any pitcher on the Pirates staff. If Searage can get Hutch to work more inside and keep the ball down more, why couldn’t we see a turnaround for Hutchison?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2017 at 08:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: drew hutchison, pirates

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pirates’ Bell credits yoga for improved flexibility, weight loss | TribLIVE

“I took my first ground ball and I was like, ‘Oh, gosh! I’m way too stiff.’ ” Bell said. “All season long, (Young) was busting on me: ‘I told you to go to yoga. What, you say your hips are tight? I told you to go to yoga.’ So, the first day of (this past) offseason, I started going to yoga.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 08:58 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: josh bell, pirates

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Pirates and Their Continuing Search for Velocity | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m generally not interested on what a pitcher “touches” in velocity. It’s where he sits that’s generally what matters. There are a lot of pitchers referenced in this article. Adding Kuhl seems a stretch.

Chad Kuhl is another success story from later in the draft, a ninth-rounder out of Delaware in 2013 who was touching 97 mph at the major-league level last summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 07:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pirates first baseman Josh Bell heeds advice from veterans on the offseason | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jaso, who also will work at third base and in the outfield, picked up the first-base position quickly this year and had only five errors in 748 innings there this season. He could be an option to enter late in games to spell Bell, a role Sean Rodriguez has filled the past two seasons.

“Josh Bell is going to grow into being a really good defensive and offensive player and he won’t need that,” Jaso said. “But if that’s a role I can have and that the team would want me to that, that would be great. I’ll work as hard as I can. Whatever they toss my way, I’ll take it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 27, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: josh bell, pirates

Can any other team follow the Pirates’ blueprint? - Beyond the Box Score

So, the Pirates won’t be able to follow their own blueprint.

Those three defining characteristics sum up the Pirates — if not in their entirety, in large part. Success with developing prospects, bringing in free agents, and tweaking pitchers is a big reason why the Pirates are reloading, not rebuilding, and ready to carry their success over into another generation of prospects. Unfortunately, those defining characteristics seem fairly unique to the Pirates; they’re products of luck, circumstance, or the kind of skill that can’t be replicated. In another five years, Pittsburgh themselves might join the rest of the league in looking back on their trajectory over this period and wondering how they can replicate it.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 27, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pirates sign Ivan Nova to 3-year deal | MLB.com

Standing in front of his locker at PNC Park on Sept. 29, Ivan Nova made his preference clear. He did not want to leave the Pirates’ clubhouse, he said, and he would do whatever he could to return in 2017.

Nova stayed true to his word. The Pirates addressed their biggest offseason need on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year deal with the veteran right-hander. The agreement, confirmed by an industry source, is pending a physical. The contract will pay Nova $26 million, according to reports by FanRag Sports and FOX Sports. The deal includes $2 million per season in performance bonuses, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ivan nova, pirates

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow eager for 2017 opportunity | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Recently, the Pirates’ top pitching prospect, Tyler Glasnow, heard something pretty funny. He was at bowling event for Pirates Charities, and one fan piped up with this wisecrack, something about how it would be cool if Glasnow could throw strikes on the baseball field, too.

“Touche,” Glasnow said, laughing, as he retold the story Sunday. “It’s all right.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2016 at 02:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, tyler glasnow

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Notes: Winter Meetings, Pirates, D-Backs, Dodgers, Dozier, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Neal Huntington on the Pirates defensive alignments.

“You plan for the best, you evaluate what happens, and you react and adjust accordingly,” explained the Amherst College alum. “We’re working through how we’re going to redeploy, and how we’re going to improve the model, and how we improve the execution of that.”

As is the case with defensive shifts within the infield, buy-in is essential.

“We need to make sure we educate on why we’re doing what we’re doing — why we believe it is the right thing, and not just some random thousands of data points.” explained Huntington. “It’s pitcher-specific, with enough valid data points to make it tangible. But if a pitcher doesn’t execute a pitch, and a ball is hit where we’re not going to catch it, there’s nothing we can do about that. You can’t defend the outlier.

“There is a percentage of the field you can defend, and we’re looking to maximize that percentage, based on pitcher, defender, and probabilities. That’s all we’re doing. Everything we do is about playing the probabilities.We’re about maximizing probability, based on analytic models and scouting models.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pirates

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Pittsburgh Pirates prospects Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow rise to the top of team’s Organization All-Stars | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Right-handed starter—Tyler Glasnow, Altoona (2 games), Indianapolis (20 games), Pittsburgh (7 games): Glasnow rang up 144 strikeouts over 116 2/3 innings in the Minors to pace the organization for the second straight year. While he compiled a 1.93 ERA and .176 opponents’ average in the Minors, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound hurler also issued 5.2 walks per nine innings. However, his command improved as the year went on, especially after making the jump to the Majors in July and September.

“I think there were points where his age became a factor,” Treanor said. “He tried to strike everybody out, and then once he settled in and got to Pittsburgh and understood that he just needs to force contact and not try to strike everybody out, you saw some flashes of what he can be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospects

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Report: Jung Ho Kang Charged With Fleeing Scene Of DUI Crash

According to reports from Yonhap News’ Jeeho Yoo and Korean outlet Naver, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been charged with leaving the scene of a DUI crash in Seoul. It’s Friday in South Korea, and Kang was reportedly arrested at 2:48 a.m. local time with a blood alcohol level of 0.084 percent. That’s a shade over the legal limit in the United States, but it’s well above the 0.05 percent limit in South Korea….

According to Naver, Kang ran into a guardrail then left the scene of the crash on foot. A translated comment from a police official indicates that nobody was hurt.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2016 at 09:50 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, jung-ho kang, pirates, police blotter

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why trading Andrew McCutchen is a real possibility for the Pirates | FOX Sports

Not wanting to be moved from center is an issue better left for a new club to sort out.

Trading McCutchen, however, would enable the Pirates to re-allocate payroll to other areas. It also would enable them to move Starling Marte from left field to center without conflict; McCutchen does not want to switch to an outfield corner, sources say.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:03 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

8 MLB teams that should target the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen | FOX Sports

Do writers just reflexively add the Yankees to every big contract acquisition?

Yankees
In order to fit McCutchen into the lineup, New York would have to trade left fielder Brett Gardner (and there have been rumors of that) or scrap the plans to start rookie Aaron Judge in right field. The former seems more likely, and the Yankees have the farm system (and finances) to pull off a McCutchen deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:27 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can the Pirates find a trade partner for Josh Harrison? | FOX Sports

Team president Stan Kasten, however, said that the Dodgers are not facing any payroll restrictions or any pressure from baseball.

“There is no mandate. There is no problem with our debt,” Kasten said. “We are continuing to operate on the same program we have since the day we walked in here in 2012. That’s building through our minor-league system while continuing to aggressively put the best team on the field that we can each year.”

Baseball issued a statement:

“The Commissioner’s Office works with all clubs to monitor compliance with the Debt Service Rule. Non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance. Clubs are evaluated on an ongoing basis relative to that plan.

“The rule is intended to ensure the financial health of clubs relative to their ability to service their indebtedness, not to influence decisions on the player market. There are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, notes, pirates, twins

Monday, November 28, 2016

Andrew McCutchen could benefit in right field | MLB.com

Some very interesting stuff on McCutchen and some other defenders.

Please, more of this stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 06:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dock Ellis Biopic in Development With David Permut

“Hacksaw Ridge” producer David Permut is developing a movie about the life of the late Major League Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis.

He moved pretty good (for a guy on acid).

Bote Man Posted: November 17, 2016 at 04:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dock ellis, movies, pirates

Hurdle taking McCutchen’s future with Pirates ‘one day at a time’ | TribLIVE Mobile

“I’ll take it one day at a time,” Hurdle said. “I think any general manager that’s in a market similar to the one we’re in has to explore the possibility of (trading) players who have one or two years left on their contracts. You have to see what value is there to keep or to move.

“That’s the way we’re going to need to continue to operate. It’s the hard part of what we get to do.”

McCutchen, who’s on vacation in Hawaii, was unavailable for comment.

“Andrew has been very black and white in the conversations I’ve had with him,” Hurdle said. “He’s told me, ‘I’m under contract here, so I plan on playing here. However, I don’t call all the shots, either.’ ”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 11:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: clint hurdle, pirates

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