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Monday, March 23, 2015

Andrew McCutchen is tired of John Fogerty’s ‘Centerfield’

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 again in an arena/ballpark/stadium is ... “

McCutchen’s brutally honest and unapologetic response: “Put me in coach,” which is easily the most repeated and recognizable lyric in the song, but the position in question and the title of the song remains “Centerfield.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, centerfield, john fogerty, music, pirates

Starting 9: Minor league options can lead to March roster madness | TribLIVE

Pirates options as Spring Training winds down.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pirates, South Korean star Kang optimistic bat will translate to MLB | TribLIVE

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.

While scouts doubt Kang has the range to stick at shortstop, the Pirates wanted the bat. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he believes in Kang’s ability to hit and adjust. He believes in his power.

“Everyone who watches him take batting practice,” Huntington said, “is going to very quickly realize he can drive a baseball.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2015 at 07:15 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, korean baseball, pirates

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Taillon ready to shed top prospect label - Timesonline.com: Pirates/MLB

“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.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, pirates

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Corey Hart slices foot stepping into a hot tub

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.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Tabata’s new swing is turning heads in Pirate City | pirates.com

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jose tabata, pirates

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pirates notebook: Team has big plans for newcomer Kang | TribLIVE

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 and also has experience at third base. The Pirates also want to test him at second base during spring training.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Q&A: Travis Sawchik on ‘Big Data Baseball’ and the rise of the Pirates through analytics

An interview with Travis Sawchik, author of the upcoming book “Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: books, pirates, sabermetrics

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ranking the teams: 6 through 1

6. Seattle Mariners

Probably unintentional, but the number 6 meme lives!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 13, 2015 at 06:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, indians, mariners, nationals, pirates

Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

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 questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


Thursday, February 05, 2015

Path of the Pros: Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Josh Harrison overcame doubters in Minor Leagues

Josh Harrison’s path to the big leagues.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: josh harrison, pirates

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Jung-Ho Kang Doesn’t Need to be a Brilliant Fielder | FanGraphs Baseball

A really good look at what the Pirates are doing on defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 06:51 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, jung-ho kang, pirates, sabermetrics, shifts

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mercer welcomes confident Kang in position battle

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 back at him or anything.

“We like the confidence. Hopefully he’ll help our club and ultimately get us to the World Series. That’s all of our goal.”

Before flying to America, Kang told reporters, including the English-language Yonhap News Agency, “If I get an opportunity to play consistently, I think I can play better.” He nodded to confirm he was talking about Mercer, who established himself last year as the Pirates’ full-time shortstop, a job he’ll carry into Spring Training.

Kang reportedly added: “I think I’ll have to talk to the team about my position, but I’d like to play shortstop.”

So would Mercer, obviously.

The District Attorney Posted: January 18, 2015 at 06:49 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jordy mercer, jung-ho kang, pirates

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pirates’ voluntary minicamp opens up without Pedro Alvarez | TribLIVE

I sounds like the Pirates don’t love Pedro’s choice not to attend their minicamp.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: pedro alvarez, pirates

Monday, January 12, 2015


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kang and Pirates are close to a pact; expected to be four-year deal - CBSSports.com

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: jung-ho kang, pirates

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pirates Win Bidding For Jung-ho Kang

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???

The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: international, jung-ho kang, korea, pirates, transactions

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nitkowski: Pirates drive the bus over the Marlins

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 understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

I couldn’t believe what my eyes were telling me. I went back and read this at least a half dozen times to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting anything. No, I saw it exactly as I thought I did the first time. Frank Coonelly completely sold out the Miami Marlins…

I asked an executive with another club if I was reading too much into this and what he thought about Coonelly’s comments. He told me, “They were not professional and show an integrity flaw.”€

The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2014 at 08:51 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: c.j. nitkowski, giancarlo stanton, marlins, pirates

Monday, December 15, 2014


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Antonio Bastardo from Phillies

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, all of which came with Philadelphia, and has proven he can get both left and right-handed hitters out (.211 BAA righties, .185 for lefties)....

In Rodriguez, the Phillies receive a player who can develop into a starter or reliever. He posted a 4.84 ERA in 31 starts with the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate, and was moved to the bullpen in July but was eventually slotted back into the rotation to end the season. His best season came in 2013, when he posted a 2.70 ERA in 26 starts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: antonio bastardo, phillies, pirates, trade

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates agree to 3-year, $39 million deal - ESPN

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2014 at 02:21 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco liriano, pirates

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ike Davis did not develop into the player the Mets hoped he’d become. Still, he would be a useful platoon partner for a team like the Marlins.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2014 at 08:27 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: ike davis, pedro alvarez, pirates

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pirates Sign A.J. Burnett

A.J. was really terrible last year. He apparently loves Pittsburgh, and probably shouldn’t have left in the first place, especially since he seems to prioritize other things above money: constantly threatening to retire, and indeed taking less money to make this move. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his preferred destination.

The Pirates announced that they have signed right-hander A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Frontline Athlete Management client will receive an $8.5MM guarantee (Twitter link)...

Burnett turned down a guaranteed $12.75MM from the Phils to take $4.25MM less and return to Pittsburgh… After posting a combined 3.41 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 393 1/3 innings as a Pirate, Burnett struggled in Philadelphia, posting a 4.59 ERA in 213 2/3 innings. Burnett’s walk rate spiked while his ground-ball and strikeout rates dipped, resulting in the inflated ERA and an NL-worst 18 losses (though the Phillies’ poor team performance obviously impacted that last number). Burnett pitched the entire season with a hernia that required offseason surgery — another likely factor in his 2014 struggles.

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, free agents, pirates, transactions

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pirates Acquire Francisco Cervelli For Justin Wilson

Finally a regular gig for Frankie Brains?

Another Yankees catcher is on his way to Pittsburgh, as Francisco Cervelli has been acquired by the Pirates in exchange for lefty reliever Justin Wilson, the teams announced tonight…

The Pirates are getting a catcher who has performed well in limited recent action. Unfortunate injuries — a foul tip and collision followed by a hamstring strain — cut Cervelli short in each of the last three years, holding him to just 225 plate appearances. But he does own a .291/.373/.447 slash in that stretch, and could be a solid piece if he can stay on the field. Because of his limited ability to rack up statistics, Cervelli is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn only $1.1MM next year.

Wilson, meanwhile, is just 27 and is still a year shy of arbitration eligibility. He took a step back last year in terms of ERA, though metrics like FIP felt he was just as good in 2014 as he was in 2013; both place him in the mid-3 earned run range. On the whole, over the last two years Wilson owns a 3.03 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 over 138 1/3 frames.


Sunday, November 09, 2014

McCutchen talks about his legacy, the Pirates’ major needs | TribLIVE

Here’s a Q&A with Andrew McCutchen.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

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