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June 6, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

31 comments so far - add yours!

Going off the board

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates had an opportunity and a challenge on the first day of the draft Thursday. They had four picks in the top 73 thanks to the trade with the Marlins that landed the 39th overall pick …

June 4, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

56 comments so far - add yours!

Never draft for need, until you need to

SOUTH HILLS – Last year at this time I offered the Pirates free advice. I suggested they adopt a high-upside draft doctrine, what I dubbed the Hart Doctrine, which is a theory how small-market clubs should target prep talent — especially …

June 2, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

136 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: can Polanco be Puig?

SOUTH HILLS – It’s June. The Gregory Polanco Watch is officially on. I went to check on the prized Pirates’ asset on Friday night for a story on Polanco in Sunday’s paper. My contribution to the Polanco-hype machine is here if you’re …

May 28, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

56 comments so far - add yours!

Ray Searage goes back to work

NEW YORK – Much has been made about Ray Searage‘s ability to spin yarn, or at least Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett and others, into gold. Searage’s track record the last several years has been sterling, his ability to communicate with players …

May 26, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

29 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Morning Mop-Up: Cole vs. Strasburg, who ya got?

CITI FIELD  -  Which former No. 1 overall prospect would you rather have – and try to be objective here - Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg? Considering everything, the contracts, club control, skill sets, age, physical characteristics, Jonah Keri ranked Cole as the 26th …

May 23, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

47 comments so far - add yours!

Lessons from the Wandy Rodriguez Experience

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates’ front office ran out of patience with Wandy Rodriguez yesterday, designating him for assignment. Even though his velocity wasn’t that far off his career average, even though his curveball appeared to have the same break …

May 21, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

46 comments so far - add yours!

Revisiting Machado vs. Taillon

SOUTH HILLS – If the first 40+ games haven’t been painful enough to many in Western Pa., if Tuesday night wasn’t disappointing enough with Francisco Liriano rocked by the Orioles, there was also Manny Machado playing third base at PNC …

May 19, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

91 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: first quarter report

NEW YORK – The Pirates salvaged something from their series in New York by splitting Sunday’s gaffe-filled doubleheader. But as we’ve officially passed the quarter pole, the Pirates are in a tough spot. There’s still a lot season to play, …

May 16, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

39 comments so far - add yours!

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

NEW  YORK –  I can’t see a show of hands so I’ll start with the bad news. The bullpen. Ugh. Ten blown saves in 40 games? That’s incredible in an undesirable way. The Pirates blew 15 saves in 162 games …

May 14, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

41 comments so far - add yours!

This is why we can’t have nice things

MILLER PARK – I didn’t get much of a chance to comment on Jose Fernandez earlier as I was traveling and had to immediately get to work at the ballpark Tuesday, but what an absolute shame for not only the …

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