BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait on photo day on February 26, 2015 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jung Ho Kang < 500

This is what I think is wonderful about Jung-Ho Kang: I have no idea what he’s going to do in 2015. None. With most players, I can make an educated guess based on minor league numbers and key rate stats and other indicators. With Kang, it’s almost impossible to know how any of those sorts […]

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Corey Hart #12 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait on photo day on February 26, 2015 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Corey Hart < 500

On its face, the Pirates’ signing of Corey Hart this winter was a pretty uninspiring move for all the obvious reasons: Hart missed all of 2013 with knee problems and was awful with the Mariners in 2014. He probably can’t play the outfield anymore, which limits him to first base, which makes him substantially less […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Chris Stewart #19 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a RBI single in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox during inter-league play at PNC Park on September 18, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Chris Stewart < 500

If you’ve been paying much attention to the evolution of the sabermetric-leaning public’s understanding of catcher framing for the last couple years, you know that it feels like more of a positive feedback loop than anything: every study that comes out seems to amplify the effect of good framing catchers even further. Last month, Jonathan Judge, […]

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Arquimedes Caminero #49 of the Miami Marlins pitches during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on September 12, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Arquimedes Caminero < 500

In the early years of the Neal Huntington era, Huntington would fill the roster with pitchers like Tyler Yates and Franquelis Osoria and take shots at pitchers like Kevin Hart and Donnie Veal. Occasionally he’d unearth a diamond in the rough like Evan Meek or hit it big on a trade with a pitcher like […]

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Radhames Liz #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait on photo day on February 26, 2015 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Radhames Liz < 500

One of my absolute favorite things about the Neal Huntington front office is that they absolutely do not care what anyone else thinks about what they do. People freaked out last year about the Cole Tucker draft pick and then that the Pirates didn’t save a significant amount of slot money with his bonus, but […]

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 3: Stolmy Pimentel #38 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up before the third inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on March 3, 2015 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Stolmy Pimentel < 500

The Stolmy Pimentel Story is a pretty straightforward in 2015. He had a rough go of 2014 and spent time bouncing between the bullpen and the disabled list, because he was out of options. The Pirates wanted to hang on to him at all costs, though, because in the 32 2/3 innings that he did […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 05:  Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants during the game at PNC Park May 5, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Jeff Locke < 500

I finally got a chance to peruse this year’s Baseball Prospectus this weekend and among other things in the Pirates’ section (including a great team essay by

Coffee and paper

Some Sunday morning reading

I haven’t written a whole ton about Spring Training, so let’s take a Sunday to get caught up on some reading about what’s going on in and around the Pirates thus far in camp. David Todd has an excellent interview with Jim Benedict up at Bucs Dugout, which you can listen to or read. There’s […]

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 5: Pittsburgh Pirates mascot jokes with a fan before the game against the New York Yankees at McKechnie Field on March 5, 2015 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The strange weight of optimism

When Parks and Rec ended its run on NBC last week, I spent a little bit of time thinking about what it was that I liked about the show so much. Given that the show spent most of its second half making references to sabermetrics and once made an entire episode dedicated to Infinite Jest, it could […]

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 22: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a sixth inning solo home run against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 22, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Pirates open to extending Andrew McCutchen

I’m a day behind on this story, but I think it’s an important one to weigh in on. Yesterday Bob Nutting talked to Rob Biertempfel at the Trib, saying that he’d like Andrew McCutchen to be a Pirate for a “long, long time” and Biertempfel’s sources indicated that while the Pirates are not actively engaged in extension talks […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01:  John Holdzkom #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

John Holdzkom < 500

John Holdzkom started 2014 in independent ball and at one point in the season got cut by his indy league team. He has pitched for New Zealand’s World Baseball Classic team. One time he called in to Chelsea Peretti’s podcast, lamenting his blown baseball opportunity. The Pirates signed him out of the blue last summer, […]

Tigers, Brewers, Cubs Highlight Top Games in April for Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates proved their recent success wasn’t just a blip on the radar. After back-to-back playoff appearances in 2013 and 2014, the Pirates seem content on being on the winning side of things and plan to keep it that way for 2015. Following the play of franchise cornerstone Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates want to […]

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