Gerrit Cole has been unbelievable in two starts

 

Former Pirate Gerrit Cole (1-0, 0.64 ERA) through two starts with the Houston Astros, is looking everything the Pirates imagined/hoped he was going to be when they took him 1st overall in the 2011 draft. Cole was dominant again Saturday night in his first home start as an Astro, striking out 11 for the second straight this season. Cole allowed 0 runs and 5 hits. Cole in two starts has a K/BB ratio of 22/3. The swing and miss stuff has been at a level never seen from Cole before as the Astros have found something the Pirates couldn’t with Cole in developing a 3rd and 4th pitch. From the Houston Chronicle: [It’s a small sample size, mind you, but after two starts it’d be hard to argue that he’s not the team’s best starter right now..Nineteen of his 102 pitches were swung upon and missed on Saturday, two fewerRead More »

Pirates: Bullpen a problem, newcomers providing immediate impact in hot start

 

Reds 7 – Pirates 4 Eugenio Suarez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, as the Cincinnati Reds dealt the Pittsburgh Pirates their second loss of the season with a 7-4 Reds win on Saturday night. The Pirates are a surprising 6-2 on the season but this was a tough loss to take with the bullpen imploding late. Pittsburgh has arguably one of the top-5 closers in the game but getting the ball to him is going to be a season long problem. The bullpen situation kinds of resembles the lack out outfield depth last season where the Pirates were often rolling out just two legitimate outfielders on a daily basis. PIRATES GETTING IMMEDIATE IMPACT FROM NEWCOMERS Corey Dickerson drove in 2-runs in the Pirates 7-4 loss to the Reds Saturday night and the Pirates are getting an immediate impact from Dickerson and Morgan, which has been aRead More »

Pirates are off to 3-0 start

 

Pirates take Doubleheader from Tigers G1: Pirates 1 – Tigers 0 W: T.Williams (1-0) L: M. Fulmer (0-1) S: Felipe Rivero (1) PIT Leaders J. Bell | 2-4, 2B G. Polanco | 1-3, 2B, RBI T. Williams | 6 IP – 1 K – 5 BB G2: Pirates 8 – Tigers 6 W: C. Kuhl (1-0) L: B. Farmer (0-1) S: F. Rivero (2) PIT Leaders J. Harrison | 3-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2B D. Freese | 2-4, HR, 2 RBI S. Marte | 1-2, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R E. Diaz | 2-4 The Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a 3-0 start to the 2018 season. The 3-0 start might be against a projected bottom-cellar in the AL but this is the exact type of start the Pirates needed in trying to change the narrative where the Pirates got crushed from every angle this winter in acting like anRead More »

Pirates boost lineup in trading for All-Star OF Corey Dickerson

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates have deserved every bit of criticism they’ve gotten this winter. Today, though, the team actually took a step in improving their roster for 2018, acquiring outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Tampa Bay Rays. Dickerson immediately becomes the Pirates starting left fielder, forming a potentially very good outfield if Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco play up to their ability. Dickerson will make $5.95 million this season and is arbitration eligible next season. He is under team control for two years. What’s interesting with Dickerson is he went from being the American League’s starting designated hitter in last summer’s All-Star Game to being DFA’d a few days ago. Dickerson has hit 24 home runs or more in three of his last four seasons. In 2016, Dickerson hit just .245 but belted 24 homers with 76 RBIs. In 2014 and 2015 with the Rockies, Dickerson was a .300 hitter inRead More »

Pirates acquire OF Bryce Brentz from Boston

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates today acquired outfielder Bryce Brentz from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced. The right handed hitting Brentz was selected by the Red Sox 36th overall in the 2010 draft. Brent spent the entire 2017 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .271 with 31 home runs and 85 RBI in 120 games. Brentz 31 home runs ranked fifth in all of minor league baseball in 2017. He has appeared in 28 career Major League games (.287-1HR-9RBI), none since the 2016 season.

Drew Hutchison signs minor league deal with Phillies

 

A year and a half ago pitcher Drew Hutchison was called by Pirates GM Neal Huntington as being a “very nice complement to Gerrit Cole” for the present and future. Hutchison for now will be a nice piece for the Philadelphia Phillies to throw batting practice this spring. Hutchison, 27, who elected free agency in October, is out of the Pirates organization and today inked a minor league contract with the Phillies. For the Pirates, the Francisco Liriano trade that also included OF Harold Ramirez, catcher Reese McGuire going to Toronto, didn’t exactly pan out for the organization despite the Pirates believing they had something in Hutchison. Huntington on Hutchison (July 31, 2016): “Our scouts have liked him a lot in the past; we believe his surface numbers are not reflective of the potential,” Huntington said. “We’ve got multiple years of contribution from Drew. He’s a very nice complement toRead More »

Pirates path to competing next couple years in NL Central gets smaller

 

The MLB off-season continues to get more depressing for Pirate fans. As the rest of the NL Central gets stronger not just for the present but the future, the Pirates have entered tear-down mode with little path to competing as their prospect system has fallen to the middle of the pack and once regarded top prospects like Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows are no longer the significant trade chips they were a year and half ago to improve the roster dramatically. While the Pirates stand on the sidelines, the Brewers have made major additions with the signing of Lorenzo Cain and trade for Christian Yelich……. The Cardinals significantly upgraded their roster with the trade for Marcell Ozuna who belted 37 homers and 124 RBIs, and now the Cubs have made their move in signing free-agent ace pitcher Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal on Saturday night. The Cubs oneRead More »

Buy-Low Options: Pirates have no excuse not to add a starting outfielder

 

Pirates GM Neal Huntington will tell anyone who will listen that the Pirates expect to be competitive in 2018. How the organization decides to act in whether they add a legitimate starting outfielder in free agency or not will be telling. Do the Pirates go the outfielder by committee route and just use the likes of Adam Frazier, Sean Rodriquez, Jordan Luplow, and maybe Jose Osuna as their third outfielder or does the team actually look to improve the position? Even if Austin Meadows goes out and has a dominant spring training, the Pirates are not starting his clock till at least June. Huntington has talked up Jordan Luplow a bit since the McCutchen trade but the Pirates have no excuse not to add a starting caliber outfielder on a one or two year deal with several good buy-low options available. This is a market where the stars are eventuallyRead More »

Analysis: Pirates failed to foreshadow where the Andrew McCutchen trade market was headed

 

SFG Receive: Andrew McCutchen, $2.5 million in cash considerations PIT Receive: RHP Kyle Crick, minor league OF Bryan Reynolds, $500,000 International Bonus Pool The Pittsburgh Pirates either had to go all-in this off-season and stretch the payroll, which was never going happen with Bob Nutting as the owner, or start the process of a re-tool. With the way Bob Nutting operates, an Andrew McCutchen trade was always going to happen at some point, but with an iconic player like McCutchen it still doesn’t make it any easier for the fan base to accept. “The reality is, he had one year left in Pittsburgh under the best of circumstances,” GM Neal Huntington said of McCutchen. “As a result, with where we are in the win curve, the Gerrit Cole trade did not dramatically impact our potential to win the World Series this year. This trade does not dramatically impact our potentialRead More »