Peter Gammons: New Englander Jeff Locke and a personal David Ortiz moment

JUPITER, Fla.–Jeff Locke is now 29. He was an all-star in 2013, he has won 35 major league games, and after coming through the Braves system and being traded to Pittsburgh, is now with the Miami Marlins. But, throughout, he remains a New Englander. He grew up in North Conway, N.H., home of the Skimobile. […]

Is Pirates’ Rotation Prepared for NL Central Warfare?

To paraphrase manager Clint Hurdle, the Pittsburgh Pirates have serious street cred when it comes to fixing pitchers. From A.J. Burnett (twice) to Francisco Liriano, and Edinson Volquez to J.A. Happ, the Pirates have a track record of extracting maximum value from low-cost, low-profile signings and trades. They take castoffs from MLB’s Island of Misfit […]

This season’s starters with at least 10 no-decisions

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. “If Won-Lost records don’t matter for starters, do No Decisions make an impact?” is a philosophical baseball thought experiment that raises […]

Without Burnett, is Bucs’ Rotation in Trouble?

The Pirates possess the majors’ third best record and are positioned to punch their third straight ticket to the postseason thanks largely to stellar starting pitching. The Bucs’ offense has disappointed, ranking 17th in park-adjusted OPS despite returning largely the same lineup that placed 6th in that category last year. The rotation has stepped up, […]

Bucs Get Even Better at Busting Hitters Inside

Sorry, St. Louis, but the Pirates aren’t about to settle for a Wild Card playoff spot for the third consecutive season. The Bucs have eviscerated the competition over the past month, having won seven straight games and 20 of their past 25 contests. At 38-27, Pittsburgh still sits five games back of the Cardinals in […]

With Martin Gone, Bucs Must Focus on Upgrading Rotation

The bushy-bearded, uber-patient, strike-stealing soul of the Pirates’ return to prominence has left town, with catcher Russell Martin signing a five-year, $82 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Martin’s departure deals a severe blow to Pittsburgh’s chances of reaching the playoffs for a third consecutive season in 2015, with new presumed starting backstop Francisco […]

Jeff Locke Changes it Up, Cuts out Walks

Jeff Locke pulled off a Houdini act to reach All-Star status in 2013, making the National League’s Midsummer Classic roster with a sparkling ERA (2.15) but middling peripheral stats (a 3.80 Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP). The Bucs lefty won’t be anywhere near Target Field next week — not after getting hammered for a 6.12 […]

Return of the Vanimal?

After a wretched start to the 2014 season, the Pirates have climbed back into playoff contention thanks to a trio of Indianapolis Indians pitchers. With A.J. Burnett joining the cross-state Phillies, Francisco Liriano walking the yard before pulling his oblique, and prospect Jameson Taillon undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Bucs have relied upon Triple-A starters Jeff […]

Coffee and Clippings: Teixeira: ‘We’re back to being the Yankees again’

Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) of the NY Daily News talks about Mark Teixeira and how the Yankees lineup is “back to being the Yankees again”… Listening to Mark Teixeira talk about the Yankees’ offseason, it was difficult to tell if he was the team’s first baseman or an excited sports-radio caller. Teixeira was upbeat on Sunday […]

Stop Slipping, Pirates

1992. That was the last time that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season. And they were so close last year with a 79-83 record. So painfully close. I imagine that no team has ever planned a parade for simply having a winning season, but I envision that the city of Pittsburgh already has plans […]