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@azibuck If it makes you feel any better, I want to do a bigger look at the shifts before the season starts, and I'll get a lot more granular with how I'm looking at this sort of thing once I'm out from under the self-imposed 500 word restraint.
3 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/february-2015/jared-hughes-500.html
@azibuck Well, you can see a few pretty distinct areas where Hughes' ground balls go that don't line up with the traditional defensive positions, which means that he's generating similar results regardless of the hitter. I think this is probably what makes the Pirates able to cover for Hughes (and maybe someone like Morton, to an extent): they're generating their own patterns, somewhat independent of the batters, and the Pirates are shifting to those patterns, not to the batters themselves.
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/february-2015/jared-hughes-500.html
@azibuck That thing with the grabbing the helmet is the work of a guy who's obviously not used to having a helmet that fits. Trust me on this one, as a guy with a giant head that most Little League/high school equipment bags had trouble accommodating.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/february-2015/gregory-polanco-500.html
@TomBrenholts1 Let's just say this: while combing the Getty database for pictures of him to use in this post, he looked cool and bad-ass in every single one of them.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/february-2015/andrew-mccutchen-500.html
@nickjuneau24 It's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure we'll see it here. My best guess is that we're going to see another "phantom" DL stint in the middle of the season to help keep him fresh.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/january-2015/francisco-liriano.html
For what it's worth, Cervelli gets EXCELLENT reviews as a receiver (Brandon McCarthy went out of his way to praise the Pirates for trading for him on Twitter because he liked pitching to him so much), so I'm thinking that Burnett's struggles had much more to do with the AL East and New Yankee Stadium than it did with Cervelli himself.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/january-2015/aj-burnett-500.html
@Indypittfan I'm not sure it'd so much be a tax on the bullpen as it'd mean that 50odd innings go to a pitcher that we may or may not want to see in the starting rotation coughCumptoncough
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/january-2015/new-year-new-expectations.html
@miniplen I don't know if she reads the comments, but, well, she works at Wheatland Tube. I don't think a little bit of profanity is going to bother her.
7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-100-pirates-12-dodgers-7.html
@tdcbuccofan It's a small world, and an even smaller baseball park!
@Ugarles It's dumb, but I'd feel a whole lot better about everything with two 3+ run wins in the double-header today.
10 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/slow-starts-gregory-polanco-and-everything-else.html
@StateCollegeSam I think the honest answer is that he's not really that expensive. If you want to stick a dollar value to WAR, he was worth close to $30 million last year alone. They're paying him for an average of one win above replacement per year; even if he regresses instead of making progress, he'll be worth one win a year.
11 months ago on Heyman: Pirates agree to extension with Starling Marte
@THEjoelowry Well ... that's awfully embarrassing. Fixed, thanks!
11 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/welcome-to-whygavs-n-0.html
@PatStuart The host is decided by head-to-head record. The Pirates and Reds are 8-8 against each other, so more than likely seeding will be determined by whoever wins two games this weekend.
1 year, 5 months ago on The Pirates are going to the playoffs
1 year, 5 months ago on 82 wins
@azibuck Thanks for keeping me in line for so many years!
@Eephus Hey! Where is azibuck?
@DoctorGeeves Whoa whoa whoa, less grumpy? Let's not raise the bar too high!
Thanks, though; it really means a lot to hear from guys like you that have been reading this site almost from the word go. You are all what kept me going through the toughest stretches.
@mwr505 When Justin Wilson comes in and strikes out a lefty in a big situation, it's because Justin Wilson is awesome. When Pedro strikes out against a lefty in a big situation, it's because he's "K-dro" and his act has to change.
1 year, 6 months ago on Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3
@wkkortas Yup, pretty much exactly where I'm at.
1 year, 7 months ago on The Cardinals, the playoffs, and the trade deadline
@innkeeper4 He is striking out less often right now, I'm saying that his career numbers indicate that that's probably unsustainable.
1 year, 7 months ago on Game 89: A's 2 Pirates 1
@PirateCaptain Taillon's pretty impressive, but not many guys can hit 102 on the gun.
1 year, 8 months ago on Can we talk about this rationally for one minute?
@NateRose I get your point, Nate, which is why I can spend so much time pointing out why this trade might be dangerous for the Pirates and still end up on, "Yeah, Stanton is awesome, I still might pull the trigger." All I'm saying is that when you ship this much talent off to another team, you really have to consider all the scenarios. It's true that lots of recent "prospects for talent" trades work out in favor of the talent, but not all of them do. The Braves' trade for Mark Teixeira was awful. The Angels would surely love to have Jean Segura back right now instead of those 13 starts they got from Greinke.
I'm not opposed to trading good prospects for help, particularly very talented long-term help like Stanton can provide. I'm mostly just nervous about trying to find that help at the one position in the field that I'm relatively certain that the Pirates can man long term. Obviously it's rare when a team might be willing to part with a guy like Stanton, which makes this potential scenario unique. I'm just pointing out that the Pirates have to be measured in everything they do and take all scenarios into consideration.
All that said, who wouldn't love to see Stanton launch a ball off of whatever they're calling the Steakhouse in left field now, and to do it in a Pirate uniform?
1 year, 8 months ago on The Pirates, Giancarlo Stanton, and trading prospects
Don't mind me, just testing things out.
@benharris64 And then he'd go into a slump after the Derby and fans would blame it on him being in the derby and not on his 35% strikeout rate.
1 year, 8 months ago on Pedro Alvarez is on fire, but nothing is changing
@TomBrenholts I didn't mean that it was Piratey, just that waiting for the other shoe to drop is one of the toughest parts of being a Pirate fan right now.
1 year, 8 months ago on Game 72: Reds 2 Pirates 1
@JamesSantelli I haven't had a hit since high school, either. Wonder how I'd fare against Lincecum.
1 year, 8 months ago on Game 54: Pirates 8 Giants 2
@Savage_Beast Thank you, sir!
1 year, 9 months ago on Game 54: Pirates 1 Tigers 0
@battlingbucs Hurdle acts like Watson has no platoon split at all and should pitch to righties and lefties equally; that is patently untrue. Righties have an OPS of 100 points higher than lefties against him. He should generally be used as a lefty specialist. That's all I meant by calling him a LOOGY.
As for Melancon; you're right that he was due up, but that was Hurdle's fault, too. He could've double-switched Mercer for Inge when Melancon came into the game to get Inge's bad glove off of second base and to anticipate Melancon needing to throw more than one inning. He could've used his bench like a logical person and had Gaby to pinch hit for Jones instead of Snider (Jones is, career-wise, much worse against lefties than Snider) or maybe he could've let Marte hit for himself, double a run in, and not have to use his bench at all that inning after Tabata.
1 year, 9 months ago on Game 35: Mets 3 Pirates 2
@SteveGiufre It's always fun when someone accuses me of being 1.) wrong and 2.) vaguely racist when I INCLUDED A LINK IN THE VERY POST THAT THEY'RE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT PROVES THEM WRONG.
1 year, 12 months ago on When will we see Gerrit Cole in Pittsburgh?
@AndrewSmalley I actually was referring to the Buster Olney thing about Cole and Taillon, worrying about their contract status. I pointed to "fans" because that's who's going to be wailing about it on May 20.
The problem with the pitching depth is this: Burnett and Rodriguez are old, McDonald is unreliable, Karstens and Liriano are fragile as heck, and I'm not sure that McPherson or Locke are any good at all. Just because you have seven pitchers doesn't mean there's depth. I think the rotation could be an abject disaster this year.
@burningriverbaseball That's my favorite part! It was the advanced scouts that were doing the spying!
2 years ago on Taiwanese scouts caught spying on South Korean team prior to World Baseball Classic | February | 2013 Articles
@forsjef OPS+ is OPS normalized to 100.
2 years, 2 months ago on Rosenthal: Pirates agree to terms with Russell Martin
Thanks for all the kind words here, everyone. They really do mean a lot to me.
2 years, 4 months ago on 20
@BenjaminPGlaser Well, he did put a call on his blog for some of these people to speak publicly ... but seriously, when are you going to get an employee to go on the record for something like that?
2 years, 5 months ago on A few words about the Kyle Stark stuff
@guapo Wait, who's a credentialed member of the media here?
2 years, 5 months ago on The Pirates don't care about throwing out base stealers. Should they? | August 2012
@justinzeth @rowhoo Yeah, the tOPS+ is what I think is really important here. The LOB% is just circumstantial. I probably should've left it out, but it's where I started.
@guapo Well, that's why I included the splits. I'll admit that it's possible that the Pirates have a unique group of individuals that are, as a whole, way worse at pitching out of the stretch than every other pitcher in the league, but I think that it's pretty telling that those tOPS+ splits come out at almost exactly league average. We can't say /for sure/ that the Pirates get no advantage from this, but I think assuming something else is even more unlikely.
@Carnegie Chip And I'm not arguing that they mishandled the deadline. I wouldn't have done anything different there. I'm just saying; you're good enough to have that record in August, the window is open.
2 years, 5 months ago on Actually, I'm not sure I do want to talk about it | August 2012
@Carnegie Chip Sixteen games over .500 in August = The Window. I don't really see how that's up for debate, even.
@wkkortas Jeff Reboulet!
2 years, 5 months ago on What do the Pirates have in Brock Holt? | August 2012
After the Chapman HBP that everyone seems to think ended the season, the Pirates almost beat the Reds on Saturday, beat them soundly on Sunday, and split with a decent Diamondbacks team the next week. Things didn't really start to come apart until the series with the Padres that was a week after the incident. Trying to point to one thing as the reason this is happening is pointless. There are a hundred reasons the Pirates are falling apart, and none of them are Aroldis Chapman hitting Andrew McCutchen.
2 years, 6 months ago on And so here we are again | August 2012
@battlingbucs I've spent the last month being the guy that says, "If they stop playing like shit soon, everything will be OK."
I'm still waiting for them to stop playing like shit, and it's worn me out.
@jedmiller71 Mermaids = manatees n'at
2 years, 6 months ago on Respite | August 2012
@wkkortas I've been afraid that the chamber is empty each of the last three or four times he's taken the mound.
2 years, 6 months ago on Game 115: Dodgers 5 Pirates 4 (and some bullpen rants) | August 2012
@TWT_Junior I'd be happy with just the second part. I'd be particularly happy with the second part being a real playoff spot and not a measly one-game wild card.
2 years, 6 months ago on You are here [x] | August 2012
@wkkortas I think it's more about Huntington doing right by a well-liked veteran player that the team no longer had a role for. Instead of dumping him off on waivers, and letting him dangle and maybe get claimed by somewhere that wasn't good for him, he found him a contender to play for. Huntington is generally pretty good about this (see: the weird Sutton situation earlier this year, Eric Hinske, etc.) when it doesn't affect the team, so that's how I'd read it.
2 years, 6 months ago on Pirates trade deadline in review: Convention is your worst enemy | July 2012
@wkkortas Well, at the very least, I think he's the best fit for the Pirates out of the players they could've gotten for Lincoln.
2 years, 7 months ago on Pirates trade Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jays for Travis Snider | July 2012
@Carnegie Chip Lincoln was highly sought after by the Phillies, because they are insane. Pence is having a down year, is expensive, is under control for less time, and is right-handed. Snider's a better fit, even if he's a bit of a dice roll.
@brendanmcfadden @Carnegie Chip Polanco is a really good prospect and I think it'd be hard to get even value for him or Hanson, for that matter given their current age/ceilings.
2 years, 7 months ago on Rosenthal: Pirates 'not currently optimistic' about finding hitter | July 2012