PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 05:  A general view of the home plate gate at PNC Park prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Opening Day 2016

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next. – Ursula K. LeGuin Opening Day is a day of beginnings, and as such, there is very little place for a statistic like this one: Since 2013, only the St. Louis Cardinals have won more games than the Pittsburgh […]

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 27:  Cory Luebke #52 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Pirates set their bullpen

With Opening Day hurtling towards us at an alarming speed, the Pirates have finalized their bullpen one day after giving Juan Nicasio the final rotation spot. The obvious spots are filled by the obvious pitchers (Melancon, Watson, Caminero), and with Jared Hughes on the disabled list, the final four spots will go to Neftali Feliz, Ryan […]

at McKechnie Field on March 6, 2016 in Bradenton, Florida.

Juan Nicasio makes the rotation (also: why Jeff Locke is the fifth starter)

If you operate every spring with the broad assumption that spring training stats don’t matter, you will both be mostly correct and prevent yourself from stressing out over roster decisions too much. There are some exceptions to that axiom, though. For example, if you pitch 15 shutout innings over five appearances (four starts), scatter ten […]

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait on February 25, 2016 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The two big questions about Jung Ho Kang

It’s hard to believe that a year ago, no one was sure if Jung Ho Kang was really going to deserve the roster spot that the Pirates announced that they were going to give him, despite a dismal spring training. In early April, Kang looked well out of his depth with the Pirates. He hit […]

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 06:  Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ground ball during the third inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field on March 6, 2016 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Jordy Mercer and infield carousel

I think that if you asked most Pirate fans which Pirate starter was most in danger of losing his job (or in need of being replaced), Jordy Mercer’s name would be the first to pop into a lot of minds. Somehow, though, the Pirates have pretty decent prospects at almost every position other than short […]

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait on February 25, 2016 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

John Jaso and Josh Bell

When I got to Bradenton last Sunday for my first spring training game, I assumed that the biggest impression that anyone would make on me all week would be Josh Bell. I saw Bell last August when Indianapolis came to Durham and barely wrote about him the next day; he squared a few balls up […]

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 06:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates stands in centerfield prior to a spring training game against the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field on March 6, 2016 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Andrew McCutchen sounds and looks like a guy who’s ready for real baseball

The last two days in the Gulf Coast League have featured more or less one non-Juan Nicasio highlight for the Pirates: Andrew McCutchen is mashing taters all over the place. Yesterday in Sarasota he sent a Kevin Gausman pitch nearly into orbit, and it landed well beyond all seating and stadium structures. Today in Bradenton […]

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Jameson Taillon #76 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait during the Pittsburgh Pirates Photo day on February 21, 2014 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Jameson Taillon and the road back

One of the questions that I’ve been asked maybe more than any other question this winter is whether or not the Pirates should expect anything from Jameson Taillon. In general when talking about pitchers that could help the Pirates in 2016, I mention Tyler Glasnow for obvious reasons and Nick Kingham pending his TJ rehab, […]

BRADENTON FL- MARCH 3: Third baseman Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes the throw to first base during the first inning of the Spring Training Game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 3, 2016 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. The Blue Jays defeated the Pirates 10-8. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Josh Harrison and the ghost of Neil Walker

With all of the furor surrounding the Neil Walker trade over the winter, this one thought kept sticking out in my head: Josh Harrison didn’t actually hit that much worse than Neil Walker did in 2015. Certainly, Walker hit for more power than Harrison did, but Harrison hit .287/.327/.390 and Walker hit .269/.328/.427. By wRC+, Harrison […]

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 27:  Daniel Bard #51 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Houston Astros during the game on April 27, 2013 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

How the Pirates are working with Daniel Bard

There’s a really interesting story in the Providence Journal (punchline, courtesy of my uncle: Interesting? About Daniel Bard? How?) about Bard’s journey back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and how the Pirates are reconstructing him this spring. Here’s a part Pirate fans will love: Bard signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates in January at […]

of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the Chicago Cubs during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gregory Polanco and the search for consistency

Last year on the Fourth of July, I sat on top of the right field wall at PNC Park and talked quite a bit to my dad about Gregory Polanco. I said that it was hard to find a whole ton of evidence that Polanco had improved much at the plate in the year-plus since […]

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Left fielder Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 10, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pirates defeated the Phillies 6-3 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Starling Marte and the last piece of the puzzle

Here’s something you might not expect: by at least one measure (Baseball-Reference WAR), Starling Marte was the best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates last year. The reason is in the defense, of course, and Baseball Reference uses DRS, which gives more value to Marte’s defense in and less to Andrew McCutchen’s in center. It’s not […]

Myths and Truth About Creatine Supplements

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements among athletes, bodybuilders and to those who wish to improve their body physique and yes, gain muscles. This supplement improves training performance and it helps increase muscle mass. This supplement gives you that extra push to pull-off another rep to each of your exercise. This will then […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates following his two-run home run in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Andrew McCutchen and the ticking of the clock

A couple of years ago, Baseball-Reference added a cool feature to each team’s Franchise Encyclopedia pages; 20 pictures of the 20 greatest players in each franchise’s history by WAR. If you go to the Pirates’ page, here are the first 13 faces you’ll see: Honus Wagner Roberto Clemente Paul Waner Arky Vaughan Willie Stargell Max […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A brief update

With pitchers and catchers reporting and the Pirates unveiling a 2016 version of the Fam-a-lee uniforms and spring training right around the corner, I wanted to give anyone that’s looking for WHYGAVS season preview posts a quick update on everything. As I alluded to in my previous post a few weeks ago, I’m going to […]

at Coors Field on September 23, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

In 2016 we learn how much trust the Pirates deserve

For whatever reason, the catch-phrase “Trust the Process” never quite caught on with Neal Huntington’s rebuild of the Pirates in the way that it did in Houston with Jeff Luhnow’s work or in Kansas City with Dayton Moore. For the most part, Pirate fans were skeptical of Huntington right up until the Pirates clinched their […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 13: Tony Watson #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during the game at PNC Park on June 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Bullpens and rotations

I’m not entirely certain that the Pirates are done making moves this winter; as has been discussed in plenty of places, they’ve still got some payroll maneuverability, they need a left-handed reliever, and their off-season reliever stockpiling (which is what we’re going to talk about here) has made a Mark Melancon trade conceivable, so it’s […]

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