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Pirates Newsbeat

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Talking Ball with Jeffrey Radice – The Hardball Times

Few people ever have been more complicated—or controversial—than the late Dock Ellis. One moment, he could have been complaining publicly about something as trivial as the length of his hotel bed in San Francisco; the next, he might be visiting hardened criminals in the state penitentiary, doing his best to advise them on a straighter and narrower path.
It’s only natural that someone like Ellis would become the subject of a full-length documentary. Directed by Jeffrey Radice, No No: A Dockumentary explores the life and times of Dock Ellis in rich detail. Extremely well-edited and bolstered by a phenomenal 1970s soundtrack, the film features previously unseen home video interspersed with numerous contemporary interviews.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2014 at 01:21 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dock ellis, documentaries, pirates

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pirates must weigh risk, reward in attempt to sign Martin | TribLIVE

Some team will get very stupid this off-season with Russell Martin.

“We’re in an interesting era for age curves because of the skew of performance-enhancing drugs,” Huntington said. “We are trying to re-evaluate aging curves because they were taken way out of whack because of the influence of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: catcher aging, pirates, russell martin, sabermetrics

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow captures Starting Pitcher MiLBY Award | MiLB.com

It takes more than talent to get to the big leagues. Warning: TINSTAAPP.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospects, tyler glasnow

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Kovacevic: For Pirates, the sickening sound of silence DK on Pittsburgh Sports

I read a couple of tweets about how unfair the Wild Card system is to the fans. The complaint was, it’s a coin flip. No kidding. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. If you don’t want your season ended on a playoff “coin flip”, win your division.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2014 at 06:39 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pirates, wild card

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gene Collier: No shame in staying home for Pirates

The very best baseball summer in the history of PNC Park ended pretty much the way it began here Sunday, with a tense 1-0 victory against a divisional opponent, the first on an extra-inning home run by Neil Walker way back on March 31, the last when Andrew McCutchen caught Aramis Ramirez’s lazy fly to push the Milwaukee Brewers to the absolute edge of further relevance.

In between, the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates packed 49 additional home victories of every conceivable dimension: wins in 16 innings, wins with 15 runs, with eight runs in an inning, with seven doubles, with eight extra-base hits, with come-from-behind wins all over the place and lights-out pitching to spare.

It would be very much in the club’s interest at this point, I’d imagine, to force the San Francisco Giants to come here for a wild-card showdown Oct. 1, to face the entire Black Army of the Allegheny, the one that brought down the Cincinnati Reds exactly one year ago on that date.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season

Can the Pirates get over the final Hurdle?

In this spartan space, first-year hitting coach Jeff Branson summoned the Pirates’ batters early this spring for a meeting…

Branson outlined parameters he and manager Clint Hurdle wanted universally accepted. They wanted more competitive at-bats, better two-strike approaches and competence against off-speed pitches.

The Pirates won 94 games last season because their defense turned an extra 2 percent of batted balls into outs. But despite the Pirates’ pitching and defense regressing this season, the Pirates are in contention because their offense has improved at avoiding outs by an additional 2 percent.

The Pirates ranked 18th in baseball in on-base percentage last season (.313). This season, they are tied for first with the Detroit Tigers with a .331 mark. By getting more runners on base the Pirates are scoring more runs. They ranked 20th in runs scored in the majors last season (3.9) and now rank ninth overall and third in the NL (4.3).

Just as the Pirates improved their run-prevention abilities with few acquisitions in 2013, they have improved their offensive efficiency with nearly an identical cast.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: clint hurdle, hitting philosophies, jeff branson, pirates

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