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Thursday, August 27, 2015

SB Nation: Pirates outfielder may have made the most chill out in MLB history

You know, I don’t think I had ever seen a casual throw nail a runner on a tag play.

Starling Marte’s chill knows no bounds. Most players would be harried trying to get the ball to third, but Marte put less effort into this out than people at the fair when throwing at milk bottles to win a prize.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:39 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cool, defensive plays, pirates, starling marte

Friday, August 14, 2015

Column: Defense no longer optional for Pirates - DK on Pittsburgh Sports

I thought the Pirates defense was good because of all the shifting that they do. :/

And hey, does that mean defense is no longer optional?

I felt compelled to ask Hurdle one-on-one afterward: Could he find a way to help this awful defense by essentially playing chess all night?

“I think there are things a manager can do, sure,” he answered. “Things obviously will get clearer when J-Hay and Jordy get back, so that’ll make a difference in that regard. But yeah, I’ll do what I have to do. We’ve got to make plays out there. It’s been 20 games now where we haven’t played good baseball. That’s got to change. And I’ll be part of that.”

It’s no tourniquet, but it beats a Band-Aid.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, pirates

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pirates’ sloppy fielding leads to 4-2 loss to Cardinals | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gerrit Cole sounds like a good teammate.

For Cole (14-6), this one had a little extra sting. The budding ace of the Pirates staff had hoped to be the difference against the first-place Cardinals. After the game, he didn’t spend a spare word blaming his defense. The biggest mistakes, he said, were his.

“Those guys are fighting their [butt] off every night just like I am,” he said. “I don’t look at it like they let me down. … There’s no defense for balls pulled over the plate or line drives crushed into the outfield. There’s no defense for that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2015 at 09:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, gerrit cole, pirates, yadier molina

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Rogers: Jake Arrieta has a message after Cubs win again

No one who saw Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta last year is surprised at what’s he has become. Maybe the bigger surprise is how his teammates have come along with him. The Cubs won their sixth straight game, 5-0, over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday as Arrieta was magnificent on the mound again.

McCoy Posted: August 05, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates, wild card

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Newly acquired Morse hopes to begin turnaround with Pirates | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Michael Morse had already bought a ticket to Los Angeles. His things were in transit and he was at the airport. Then he heard from his agents: His destination had changed.

“I couldn’t be more excited, especially with this clubhouse, especially with the guys, the coaching staff,” Morse said. “For me, it’s like winning the lotto.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 04, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: michael morse, pirates

Sunday, August 02, 2015

A.J. Burnett injured, might be done pitching | MLB.com

Placed on the disabled list following a Thursday night outing when the pain in his right elbow became “a little more than I expected, and more than I could tolerate,” Burnett has an appointment with Pirates team doctors on Monday in Pittsburgh. He expects the diagnosis to be one of two things.

“It’s either [the ulnar ligament],” said Burnett, who had the requisite Tommy John surgery for that in 2003, “or the flexor [tendon]. I’m prepared for both. Either way, I’m not going to be bothered by the result.”
...
“I might start thinking about that if I thought it could be over,” Burnett said softly. “But it’s far from over.”

Asked when he started feeling discomfort in his pitching elbow, Burnett said, “About 10 years ago.”

“Everybody goes through stuff, especially pitchers,” he went on. “But it hasn’t been anything to worry about. I was doing my thing, going about my business—until the other night.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 02, 2015 at 04:39 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, pirates

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Injury to Burnett forced the Pirates’ hand to add pitcher | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I hope Burnett can come back. He’s been a great story this year.

The addition of Happ, 32, whose first name is pronounced “Jay,” resulted directly from right elbow inflammation that sent A.J. Burnett to the 15-day disabled list Friday. Burnett made the All-Star team because of a 2.11 first-half ERA and 100 strikeouts in 119⅓ innings. In three starts since, he has allowed 32 hits and 18 earned runs in 16 innings. Huntington said Burnett informed the team of elbow pain after his start Thursday night and that it was too early to determine the severity of the injury.

“We’ll see how it plays out over the next handful of days and how quickly the inflammation subsides and how he feels as he starts to get back to baseball activity,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 01, 2015 at 08:01 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, pirates

Friday, July 31, 2015

This Is The Refusal Roberto Clemente Got When He Asked For A Raise

Following his 1959 season—his fifth full year in the bigs—Hall-of-Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente asked for a raise, to $23,000. GM Joe L. Brown, architect of those great Pirates teams of the ‘60s and ‘70s, replied with a letter politely but firmly telling Clemente that he wasn’t good enough.

Apparently OBP was a thing in 1959…

eddieot Posted: July 31, 2015 at 01:21 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, roberto clemente

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pirates acquire Joakim Soira from Tigers | MLB.com

The bodies are flying now.

he National League Central race still has 10 weeks to go. But the Pirates have already beaten out the Cardinals on one count: Joakim Soria.

Swinging their second deal of the day to solidify the bullpen, the Bucs on Thursday acquired the fading Tigers’ closer—who had been also on the wish-list of the Cardinals, looking to bolster their own bullpen even after last week’s acquisition of Steve Cishek from the Marlins.

The Tigers get shortstop JaCoby Jones—who had been promoted by the Pirates from Class A Advanced Bradenton to Double-A Altoona last week. Jones, a third-round pick in the 2013 Draft, is a strikeout-prone (once every four at-bats) power hitter (33 homers in 834 at-bats in 2014-15).

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 07:34 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, tigers, trades

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Burnett buckling of late | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As A.J. Burnett sees it, a lack of execution led to his two subpar starts after the All-Star break. Too many pitches left over the plate, especially to left-handers. Simple issues to address, small tweaks he has made before.

His previous two outings stand out in sharp relief against his first-half performance, but Burnett cautioned against using that as a yardstick.

“You expect me to go out and do what I did the first half, you’re nuts,” he said after the Pirates lost to the Washington Nationals, 9-3, Saturday night at PNC Park. “I’m going to do everything I can, but that’s ridiculous numbers.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 26, 2015 at 09:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, pirates

Sunday Notes: Tigers, Pillar, Pirates’ Bell, Correa, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s lastest. That’s L-A-U-R-I-L-I-A.

Carlos Correa is on the cusp of stardom at a young age. Two months shy of his 21st birthday, the Astros shortstop is hitting a precocious .292/.337/.532, with 21 extra-base knocks in 154 at bats.

According to manager A.J. Hinch, the youngster is attentive to a fault. After an at bat, or following a game, he’ll often seek “affirmation on what he sees versus what we see.”

“He’ll want to know that his load is on time,” elaborated Hinch. “He’ll want to see if the ball is borderline, in, out, up, down. He’ll want to know what we thought from the side. His front foot in his timing, how high his hands get, how high his load gets… that’s always a point of emphasis for him. He’s very mechanically sound, and very tuned in to his body and how his swing operates.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 26, 2015 at 09:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, kevin pillar, notes, pirates, reds, tigers

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pirates acquire Aramis Ramirez from Brewers | MLB.com

Twelve years after the Pirates traded him away, Aramis Ramirez is coming back to Pittsburgh.

The Bucs acquired Ramirez and cash considerations from the Brewers on Thursday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Yhonathan Barrios, providing a much-needed upgrade for the injury-ravaged left side of their infield.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2015 at 06:29 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, pirates, trades

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pirates can’t find way in ninth against Royals | MLB.com

I watched this live last night. What was the third base coach thinking? Down by three runs in the ninth and he sends Marte. Down three runs. In the 9th. Watch the video. (Sorry, it wasn’t available to embed.)

Trying to make it all right with another of their patented ambushes of a premier closer, the Bucs had Marte open the ninth with a single off Greg Holland and Kang followed with a smash over center fielder Lorenzo Cain’s head.

Cain to Alcides Escobar to Salvador Perez erased Marte.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: coaching, pirates, third base coach

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pirates notebook: No clear alternative to Alvarez ... yet | TribLIVE

Alvarez is the only Pirates regular who has produced negative Wins Above Replacement (-0.4) — in part because of his defensive struggles. Pirates first basemen have combined for -1.4 WAR, ranking 29th in the majors.
On Friday, a routine groundball went under Alvarez’s glove for his 15th error of the season, the most by a first baseman since Prince Fielder committed 15 in 2011. By any measure, traditional or advanced, Alvarez ranks as the worst defensive first baseman in baseball this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2015 at 06:45 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pedro alvarez, pirates

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Numbers adding up in Pirates’ favor going into second half of season | TribLIVE

Travis Sawchik looks into the crystal ball.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 16, 2015 at 11:04 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Todd Frazier Wins Home Run Derby at Home and at the Buzzer

Sabermetric people helped him make the All Stars too.

“It took a while for me to get over trying to strike everybody out,” Burnett said. “I still like my strikeouts, but use that two-seamer, man; let them beat it into the ground. My ground balls are back to where they used to be. That’s all it is, executing pitches. I haven’t found no fountain of youth. I haven’t done anything different. I’m just trying to keep the ball down and doing a better job of it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 14, 2015 at 06:55 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, pirates

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pirates notebook: ‘Extreme’ seller’s market expected at trade deadline | TribLIVE

What surprised the Pirates, and many industry observers, was the Tampa Bay Rays preferred a return of young, major league players. The Boston Red Sox also traded their ace, Jon Lester, for a major league player in Yoenis Cespedes prior to the deadline. Huntington said the focus of the sellers has again been on major league talent — not prospects — as the July 31st trade deadline approaches.

Why the change?

“It’s a seller’s market, so there are fewer teams that are looking to trade established major league players for prospects,” Huntington said. “The impatience of the industry. The expectation that you can turn an organization around in a year. Rather than (targeting) the best prospect in the system that may be in A-ball, teams are starting to look for the guy in Triple-A that might have an impact in a year or two.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, trade deadline

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Video: Must C: J. Upton robs a home run | MLB.com

Jim Furtado Posted: July 08, 2015 at 07:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, justin upton, padres, pirates

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BLS: Gorkys Hernandez’s awful mistake on the bases nearly costs Pirates

Meh, Hernandez is no Ruben Rivera.

With the game tied 4-4 in the 14th inning, Hernandez made a base-running gaffe that nearly cost his team the game. After a one out single by Chris Stewart, Hernandez entered the game as a pinch runner. He did not do his job very well.

The next batter, Josh Harrison, sprayed a double to center, and that’s when things got confusing for Hernandez.

Center fielder Rajai Davis nearly got to the ball, diving at the last second. The ball deflected off Davis’ glove, but Hernandez didn’t see it.

Because of that, Hernandez turned around and attempted to run back to first base, thinking the ball had been caught. He touched second on his way back, but was then waved to keep going by Harrison.

On his way to third base, Hernandez did not retouch second. At first, it appeared no one noticed Hernandez’s gaffe. Eventually, someone on the Detroit Tigers figured it out.

Before throwing his next pitch, Tom Gorzelanny appealed to second base and Hernandez was called out. This was a crucial out in a tie game.

Fortunately for Hernandez, he was let off the hook. Harrison would come around to score on a Neil Walker double, and the Pirates held on for the 5-4 win.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 01, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning, gorkys herandez, pirates, tigers

Monday, June 15, 2015

Economics take toll on talent pool in MLB | TribLIVE

“We like two-sport athletes, and we absolutely covet three-sport athletes,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “We think they are a much better athlete. We believe in our developmental system. We feel there is a little bit more ceiling.”

Jacoby Jones, a third-round pick in 2013, played outfield and second base at LSU. But the former prep football player has played shortstop in the Pirates’ system.

“The mobility, agility stuff, quick short-yardage stuff,” Jones said of football actions that help him at shortstop.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2015 at 06:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, pirates

Friday, June 05, 2015

Pirates starter Charlie Morton’s mechanics sound again at last, and the results prove it | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If Morton pitches well this season, the Pirates may beat the Cardinals.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2015 at 09:13 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, pirates

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Study: Pittsburgh is America’s second best baseball city | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh was ranked the second-best city in the United States for baseball fans, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a web-based personal finance company.

The study rated 272 cities based upon 11 metrics split into two categories — “teams and performance” and “costs and fan engagement.” The study took into account MLB and college teams. The Pirates and the Pitt baseball team represented Pittsburgh in the study.

“There’s been rumblings for a couple years now if whether or not baseball is still the American pastime,” said WalletHub spokesperson Jill Gonzalez. “We just wanted to see where that is still true and really key in on the cities in which baseball is still alive and well.”

Pittsburgh placed second in the study, trailing only St. Louis. Cincinnati, Atlanta and Cleveland rounded out the top five.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, pirates

Monday, June 01, 2015

Column: Francisco Cervelli rises up for Pittsburgh Pirates

Somebody really likes Francisco Cervelli.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2015 at 05:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco cervelli, pirates

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