Today was the first day of workouts for the pitchers and catchers in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system. It was a pretty busy day from a news standpoint, with this article being the tenth one we’ve published. Rather than introducing a new topic tonight, I wanted to review today’s topics and expand on a few things. I figured that would be best, especially since there are already five articles on the schedule for tomorrow, not counting any news that comes up throughout the day. Welcome back, baseball.
Clint Hurdle met with the media after today’s practice, and discussed several different topics. One of those topics, as expected, was the upcoming season and how they will approach things after two straight Wild Card appearances. The answer? “Our goal now is to push it forward and win the division.” I definitely think they have a shot, and based on all of the reviews and rankings of the team this off-season, it looks like I’m not alone in that feeling.
The Pirates also revealed their new Performance Center at Pirate City. Check out the link for a few pictures, a quick video, and a comparison to the old Performance Center, which looked way overdue for an upgrade.
Pedro Alvarez Gets a Raise and Talks First Base
Pedro Alvarez won his arbitration case today, receiving $5,750,000 in his next-to-last year in the process. Alvarez didn’t have a comment on the case when he talked to the media, but did discuss the first base position. I recapped that discussion, along with some comments from Clint Hurdle, and video of Alvarez at first base, in a new video feature for the site. The first one is titled The Progression of Pedro Alvarez at First Base.
The new feature will combine video interviews with clips of the player playing. I might add some of my own analysis in the videos after I get used to editing them quickly. Until then, I’ll just be adding extra thoughts in the article. My goal is to do one feature per day. I think this would be a nice change of pace, rather than the normal route where I’d interview the player, transcribe the interview, record video during practice, then throw an article together that includes everything you’d get in the video.
As for Alvarez at first base, he didn’t look great today, although it was the first day of practice. Stetson Allie and Andrew Lambo didn’t look their best either, and they have been working at the position a lot longer than Alvarez. I’ll wait until later in the Spring to evaluate Alvarez at first base. That said, I don’t think his defense will matter nearly as much as the bat. If he’s playing Gold Glove defense and not hitting, no one will care about the defense. If he’s crushing the ball, people will forgive the mistakes at first. Alvarez didn’t just struggle defensively last year. He struggled on both sides, and the offensive side is the one that is more important.
Spring Training Previews
Today wrapped up the Spring Training previews. If you missed any of them, you can check out the links below.
MLB Spring Training
MiLB Spring Training
West Virginia: Where are the West Virginia Breakout Candidates?
**The Pirates had five prospects on Baseball America’s Top 100 list. That is the last of the major top 100 prospect lists to be released. We will have more analysis on all of the lists tomorrow morning.