Tuesday, March 11, 2014
My original idea for this story was a simple article discussing how Cumpton was getting advice from Morton and was working on improving his sinker. Add in some numbers from Cumpton last year, and it would be an easy story that I could file away as I tried to get ahead during the early weeks of Spring Training. But after talking with both players, I quickly realized that there was so much I didn’t know about the sinker, and about what players discuss when they’re talking to each other about grips. After over a dozen interviews with nine players and coaches over the last month, I realized how complex something as simple as a sinkerball pitch could be.
Really good technical article about the sinker from Pirates Prospects.
Friday, January 10, 2014
There aren’t any English-language sources on this that I’ve found, so here’s a link to El Nacional. The upshot is that former Pirates outfielder Tony Alvarez (who goes by Antonio these days) was just chosen as Venezuela’s new Minister of Sport.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Solid deal, given the current market.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed right-hander Charlie Morton to a three-year, $21 million contract extension Wednesday that could be worth up to $30 million, betting on the 30-year-old to continue a successful return from Tommy John surgery and hedging against the increasing price of starting pitching, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Morton’s extension represents the biggest deal given out at an otherwise-slow Winter Meetings and the largest for a pitcher in Pirates franchise history. He returned from reconstructive elbow surgery in June and posted a career-best 3.26 ERA over 20 starts and 116 innings, leading starters with a 62.9 percent groundball rate, the second-highest mark for any starter over the last five seasons.
“The most important part of this deal and the reason why this deal got done is Charlie wanted to remain a Pirate and considers himself a Pirate,” said Morton’s agent, Andrew Lowenthal of Jet Sports Management, who confirmed the deal to Yahoo Sports. “He loves the city. He loves the fans. The team stuck by him. This is Charlie’s way of being loyal to the organization. The contract is a win-win.”
Posted: December 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM | 16 comment(s)
Monday, December 02, 2013
“All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates are shocked and saddened by Evan’s sudden passing in his sleep this past weekend,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Beyond being just a talented ballplayer, Evan was a great teammate and a quiet leader who went about his craft as a professional every day.
“Off the field, Evan loved making a difference in the community, and often dedicated a lot of his time working with children in the communities in which he played. Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers go out to his family for this unimaginable loss. He was far too young. He will be missed.”
Monday, November 25, 2013
The Pirates on Monday traded outfield prospect Alex Dickerson to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jaff Decker and right-hander Miles Mikolas. In a corresponding move to make room for the pair on the club’s 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Garrett Jones and righty Kyle McPherson for assignment.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
From the penthouse to the outhouse and back again.
In 2010 he landed with the Cubs, and in 2011, at age 33, Byrd made his first All-Star Game. Rather than celebration, the feat was met with suspicion. For years, Byrd had unapologetically worked with trainer Victor Conte, the mastermind behind BALCO, and maintained his innocence.
Everything after his all-star appearance became a nightmare. He tapered in the second half of 2011. He opened 2012 hitting 0.70 for the Cubs, who released. The Red Sox took a flier, and he whiffed his way through another month before they released him, too. Two weeks later, MLB suspended Byrd 50 games for testing positive for tamoxifen, a banned substance that increases testosterone produced and, as a side effect, causes breast-tissue growth.
Byrd’s career had reached a dead end. He couldn’t hit. The taint of a PED suspension hovered over him. He was more punch line than ballplayer. He was done. And then he went to Mexico. Byrd signed with Cualican, hoping he could convince one desperate team to give him a shot in spring training. He found a perfectly desperate outfit in the Mets, who invited him to Port St. Lucie. He clobbered the ball in the Grapefruit League and made the team.
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