Pittsburgh Pirates

First Impressions From the 2015 MLB Season and (Finally) My Division and Wild Card Predictions (Part One)

Kris Bryant, the #1 Prospect in baseball, has arrived in Chicago. They still have more young help on the way.

Kris Bryant, the #1 Prospect in baseball, has arrived in Chicago and they still have more young, top-flight prospects on the way.

It’s been almost three weeks since the season started and there are quite a few storylines to discuss. I figured I would break this into two parts and give a few first impressions starting with the National League. I also will (finally) dole out division predictions so without further delay let’s get to it. (more…)

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Major League Baseball 2014: The Division Races and Other Second-Half Predictions Pt. 2

Mike Trout of the Angels and Robinson Cano of the Mariners make the AL West as exciting a race as ever (Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Mike Trout of the Angels and Robinson Cano of the Mariners make the 2014 AL West as exciting a race as ever to watch in the second half (Harry How/Getty Images North America)

What a second-half it is shaping up to be.

I saw the other day a statistic that said for the first time in Major League Baseball’s history four divisions are separated by no more than a game and a half. Four! So where does that put things for those contenders who are, not only fighting to avoid the Wild Card play-in game, but fighting for the opportunity to be in that playoff conversation? (more…)

Major League Baseball Preview 2014: National League Central

Michael-Wacha

Michael Wacha (NLCS MVP) will be a full-time starter in 2014.

In the National League Central the way of life still sees the St. Louis Cardinals as the cream of the crop.

In 2013, however, the Pirates made it known they would like to join the conversation. With a rotation that might be the best in the business and professional hitters up and down their lineup the Cardinals look ready to make another World Series run. The Pirates, who finally broke through after 20-consecutive losing seasons, have a good thing going in Pittsburgh with a good mix of youth and veteran leadership. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014: These Pitchers Are Poised For A Breakout In 2014

Andrew Cashner (1.131 WHIP, 3.09 ERA) is an Ace in every sense of the word

Andrew Cashner (1.131 WHIP, 3.09 ERA) is an Ace in every sense of the word

Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting out quite a few lists before my divisional breakdowns and team reports. 

The definition of a “breakout performance” can vary from person-to-person but the general idea is always the same: that player who takes the next step from potential star to household name. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014: 5 Early Spring Training Storylines To Keep An Eye On

Is Nick Swisher ready to lead the Indians to a Playoff encore in 2014?

Is Nick Swisher ready to lead the Indians to a Playoff encore in 2014?

To say this is my favorite time would be an understatement.

I’m not talking about the approaching March Madness or the incessant NFL draft conversation (although I’ll be weighing in on that later this Spring), I’m talking about the most glorious words any snow-covered East coast dweller can hear: (more…)

Pittsburgh Pirates Are Surging, Others Withering In The Heat Of Summer Races

The heat has been turned up on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central

The heat has been turned up on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central

As the races in major league baseball march on we are starting to see some teams in situations they may not have foreseen when the season began. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2013: Trade Targets For A Few Contenders As Deadline Approaches

Cliff Lee was a hot deadline commodity in 2009 and 2010, could he be dealt in 2013 as well?

Cliff Lee was a hot deadline commodity in 2009 and 2010, could he be dealt in 2013 as well?

The July 31st trade deadline is coming up and I’m going to play general manager for a few teams in contention. Baseball has been one of those games where a trade can absolutely swing a teams fortunes on a dime. (more…)

2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Snubs, Oddities, And Thoughts

17 home runs, 50 RBI's, .288 BA, and a .365 OBP in the first-half does not an All-Star make in 2013

17 home runs, 50 RBI’s, .288 BA, and a .365 OBP in the first-half does not an All-Star make in 2013

In 1999 the Atlanta Braves had a budding superstar in Chipper Jones. That season he hit 45 home runs with 110 RBI’s, and a .319 batting average on his way to the National League most valuable player award and a National League pennant. (more…)

Dear Pittsburgh Pt. 2: I Think You’re On To Something

Top prospect Gerrit Cole is 4-0 with a 3.70 ERA in his first four career starts

Top prospect Gerrit Cole is 4-0 with a 3.70 ERA in his first four career starts

Back in 2009 when I started my sports writing exodus I wrote about the Pittsburgh Pirates after another purge of their team to figure out the blueprint they wanted to follow. (more…)

Major League Baseball All-Star Game 2013: 15 (Plus One) Budding Stars That Should Make All-Star Rosters, But Might Not

Spectacular defensively and producing offensively, the Orioles have a superstar in Manny Machado

Spectacular defensively and producing offensively, the Orioles have a superstar in Manny Machado

Remember way back in April when Will Middlebrooks of the Boston Red Sox hit three home runs in a game? Everyone was ready to proclaim him the next big superstar in the American League East at third base. Even going so far as to try to convince themselves that another young star at the same position was “overrated” and “inferior” to Middlebrooks. (more…)