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6 Transaction Analysis: Heart, Soul, and Marginal Upgrades by Bryan Grosnick and Wilson Karaman
9 Deep, But Playable: The Pirates Played for 2017 by Craig Goldstein
2 Raising Aces: All Aboard the Skaggswagon by Doug Thorburn
9 Transaction Analysis: The Penny-Pinching Pirates Pitching Parade by Jeff Quinton, Ben Carsley, Joshua Howsam, Gideon Turk, Craig Goldstein, Adam McInturff, Jeffrey Paternostro and Bryan Grosnick
0 Transaction Analysis: Nats Pay for the Pitcher, Not the Velo by Bryan Grosnick, Christopher Crawford and J.P. Breen
0 BP Unfiltered: Hope Springs Eternal, Shouldn’t by Rob Mains
7 Prospectus Feature: A Tried-and-True Pitching Strategy Doesn't Work Anymore by Rob Mains
3 The Call-Up: Josh Bell by Craig Goldstein and Mike Gianella
0 What You Need to Know: How Could They Be So Bartless? by Emma Baccellieri
1 Prospectus Feature: The Allure Of The First-Act Narrative by Trevor Strunk
8 Rubbing Mud: Would This Work? by Matthew Trueblood
1 Transaction Analysis: First Base Merry-Go-Round by James Fegan, Christopher Crawford and Bryan Grosnick
5 Prospectus Feature: The Under-the-Radar Team Adjustments by Rob Mains
5 Rubbing Mud: On Taillon and Glasnow As This Story's Heroes by Matthew Trueblood
8 Transaction Analysis: Fredi, Blame, Fired by Aaron Gleeman, Wilson Karaman and Matthew Trueblood
12 Prospectus Feature: A Short History of Reds and Pirates Hitting One Another With Baseballs by Rob Mains
1 Rubbing Mud: The Non-Pitcher Guide To Improving Your Pitching This Winter by Matthew Trueblood
6 What You Need to Know: Cubs Ace Test, Now Face Test by Demetrius Bell
5 What You Need to Know: David Price is a True Red Sox by Emma Baccellieri
0 What You Need to Know: When You Had a Taste of Paradise, Back on Earth Can Feel As Cold As Ice by Emma Baccellieri
7 Rubbing Mud: Juan Nicasio Is Not A Miracle Yet by Matthew Trueblood
6 Transaction Analysis: Gregory Polanco's Worst Case Has Never Looked Better by Rian Watt
3 Winter Is Leaving by Rob Mains
1 Rumor Roundup: Someday Yet He'll Begin His Life Again by Ashley Varela
11 Pitching Backward: Starting Pitching Depth, Ranked by Jeff Long
0 Rumor Roundup: Staying in Searage by Daniel Rathman
8 Players Prefer Presentation: Baseball's Worst Rivalries by Meg Rowley
0 Transaction Analysis: San Diego's Short-Term Shortstop Solution by Matthew Trueblood
1 Best of BP 2015: Winning By Design by Jeff Quinton
2 Rumor Roundup: Rumors About Melancon Aboil by Daniel Rathman
6 Transaction Analysis: Mets Add New Fielder's Choice Combination by Jeffrey Paternostro and Wilson Karaman
1 Transaction Analysis: NL Non-Tenders To Rock Your World by R.J. Anderson
5 Winning By Design by Jeff Quinton
1 Winning By Design by Jeff Quinton
5 Winning By Design by Jeff Quinton
14 Baseball Therapy: Do We Still Need Divisions? by Russell A. Carleton
33 Playoff Prospectus: Wild Card Recap: Casually Cruel by Sam Miller
8 Playoff Prospectus: Cubs vs. Pirates by Sahadev Sharma
1 Rubbing Mud: Jake Arrieta Isn't Wearing A Cape by Matthew Trueblood
3 Transaction Analysis: How The Wild Card Winners Were Built by BP Staff
3 Rubbing Mud: Who Gets Credit For Happ? by Matthew Trueblood
0 What You Need to Know: Cardinals Clinch; Cardinals Are Doomed? by Daniel Rathman
6 Prospectus Feature: The Story of the Rest by Henry Druschel
6 What You Need to Know: 8 2/3 by Steven Jacobson
2 BP Unfiltered: Wandy Rodriguez Throws A Hidden Reverse Humber by Kate Morrison
2 Rubbing Mud: The Best Rivalry In Baseball (Right Now) by Matthew Trueblood
4 Daisy Cutter: Andrew McCutchen Has A Cold Streak by Sahadev Sharma
1 Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip From Worst to First by R.J. Anderson
7 Transaction Analysis: Harrison Scored by R.J. Anderson
5 Every Team's Moneyball: Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB's Apple Watch by Jeff Moore
Chooch is switching coasts, Desmond Jennings is moving on, David Freese is staying put, and Scrabble goes to Washington. Shortly after the Pirates sold at the trade deadline, they got hot. Regrets?
Neal Huntington and company awoke on the morning of the trade deadline four games back of the second Wild Card spot, with three teams (the Marlins, Cardinals, and Mets, respectively) ahead of them, and three upcoming series against some of the worst teams in baseball (the Braves, Reds, and Padres, respectively). While the three teams ahead of them were buying aggressively (Miami), redundantly (New York), and standing pat (St. Louis), the Pirates opted to sell: They dealt star closer and his impending free agency for multiple years of control over Mark Melancon and a lottery ticket in Felipe Rivero , as well as Taylor Hearn and his (apparently) onerous contract, along with two prospects to Toronto for the crumbling remains of Francisco Liriano . Oh, and they also rid themselves of Jonathan Niese and received Drew Hutchison in return. Antonio Bastardo Read the full article...
Breaking down the week's notable pitching performances from Tyler Skaggs and Gerrit Cole.
The Pirates trade two starters, get back two more, and come out two prospects shallower than they were at the start of the day.
The Nationals get Mark Melancon, a reliever who has been as good as Aroldis Chapman. When it comes to the standings on the first day of the second half, what you see is *mostly* what you get.
Last year, the Cardinals had the best record in baseball, 100-62. The Pirates were second best, 98-64. This year, at the All-Star break, the teams find themselves looking up—looking pretty far up, in fact; 7.0 games for St. Louis and 7.5 for Pittsburgh—at the Cubs. Worse, they’re currently fourth and fifth, respectively, in the race for the two National League Wild Card slots, 1.0 and 1.5 games, respectively, behind the Mets and Marlins for the last spot. It’s leading fans of the two teams to ask,
Are the Cubs really this good? and Are we really this bad? Cubs fans, by contrast, are looking at a team that was a ridiculous 39-15 record after play on June 10 but 14-20—third worst in the National League, tied for seventh worst in the majors—ever since.  Read the full article... The Pirates' struggles this year might have more to do with the entire rest of the league than Pittsburgh's pitchers themselves.
has been a Francisco Liriano success story. Signed as a free agent for $1 million after compiling a 5.34 Pittsburgh Pirates , 4.29 ERA , and 4.02 FIP in 156 2/3 innings split between the Twins and White Sox in 2012, he became a hero in Travis Sawchik’s book about the 2013 Pirates and their embrace of analytics, DRA . In Liriano’s case, the approach was to junk his four-seam fastball, focus on his sinking two-seam fastball, and generate a lot of groundballs for shifted Pirates infielders to gobble up. The success of this strategy was evident through last year: Big Data Baseball
Read the full article... No, the oth-- yes, that one.
The Situation: The Pirates sit on the periphery of the playoff picture and 8.5 games out of the division but might be smelling fresh hope, as the Cubs stumble (a relative term, here). In recent days they’ve turned to , Jameson Taillon , and now to Bell to jump-start their rotation and lineup. Tyler Glasnow
Read the full article... The Mets face the World Series champs again, but their starter gets knocked out by a line drive in the first. Meanwhile, Belt whiffs against a position player pitching, and an inside-the-parker that technically wasn't.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The very first plate appearance of Tuesday night’s World Series rematch didn’t bode well for the Mets. led off with a comebacker to the mound that struck Whit Merrifield ’s thumb, and after just four pitches, New York’s starter was out for the night. Bartolo Colon
Read the full article... Zach Eflin and Jaimeson Taillon's stories began this month, and we all fill in the plots.
On Tuesday, June 14
th, Phillies starter made history. Well, history of a sort. Against the Zach Eflin —an offense that, you may have heard, is pretty good—Eflin pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits, three of which were home runs. He did strike out three, but also walked two, leading to a pretty rough first night. Here are some sparknotes to help historically contextualize Eflin’s very first start as a major leaguer: Toronto Blue Jays
Read the full article... It's time for another installment of Would This Work?, the game show that we just made up today.
The more we learn about the inner workings of baseball, the more apparent and prominent the roles of players’ habits and humanity become. We are slowly finding that the game is about talent and strategy, but that talent is maximized by comfort, and strategy is optimized by the ability to account for the adjustments and anticipations and learning curves of all the parties involved.
Read the full article...
Justin Morneau returns to the AL Central and Ike Davis returns to New York.