Tri-State at the Plate Episode #66: SeaWolves General Manager Greg Coleman Talks Erie Baseball

Andy traveled far and wide to find the brains behind the baseball operations for the Erie SeaWolves.  In the end, SeaWolves General Manager Greg Coleman ended up being in his office at the corner of 10th and Holland in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania for today’s interview.  Andy had a chance ask about what makes a Minor League team tick, ranging from wacky and fun promotions in the upcoming season, to ticket packages, as well as how the team interacts with the community.  Greg talks about Andy’s man-crush, Eastern League MVP Steven Moya, before diving into a much heavier topic, which is the economics of Minor League Baseball.

A huge thanks to Greg for taking time out of his busy spring schedule to fit in an interview today!

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #65: Spring Has Sprung and So Has Kang

Real baseball has returned in Florida and Arizona this spring!  Position battles and weird injuries are everywhere as Andy and Jason talk about Hunter Pence and his broken forearm.  Andy talks about both of those things in regards to Pirates as Corey Hart has a hot tub related injury and Jung-ho Kang hits an opposite field home run.  Andy also talks about the 5th starter spot in the Pirates’ rotation being up for grabs as well as catcher Francisco Cervelli bonding well with staff ace Gerrit Cole.  Jason then jumps into the conversation talking about his favorite players to watch in camp (Francisco Lindor) and his undying love for Bruce Chen, even though Dan in Buffalo does not approve.  Jason also talks about Trevor Bauer‘s clean mechanics and the 5th starter spot in the Tribe’s rotation as well.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #64: Can Francisco Cervelli Effectively Effect the Effectiveness of Pitchers

Spring is in the air… if you’re in Arizona or Florida that is.

Andy and Jason are in the best shape of their lives and they reported for this week’s podcast!  It shows as they open up talking about meeting Jim Leyland and B.J. Upton‘s name change to Melvin Upton Jr.  Andy then talks about the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup in 2015 and how Francisco Cervelli could help all Pirates fans forget Russell Martin.  He also discusses the Pirates pitching and players who may need to make strides in 2015.  Jason then discusses Michael Bourn‘s hamstrings, Jason Kipnis‘s return to stardom, the two-spot in the Cleveland lineup, and Indians pitchers competing in sprint drills!
It’s good to be back!

2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Projected Pitching

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates will need to address and improve their pitching, particularly of the starting variety, if they are going to compete for the National League Central title in 2015. While the pitching wasn’t awful, it was basically league average across the board in every major statistical category.  With his offseason moves, general manager Neal Huntington has taken care of addressing the pitching.  Now it will be up to the new (and old) acquisitions to live up to their end of the bargain by bolstering the Pirates staff. Continue reading

2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Projected Lineup

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans have quite a bit to look forward to in 2015.  Coming off of two consecutive playoff appearances after twenty years of futility is something to celebrate in and of itself.  However, considering the Pirates have a core lineup consisting of a National League MVP in Andrew McCutchen, a runner-up for the batting title last season in Josh Harrison, and a rotation anchored by their former number one overall pick in Gerrit Cole, there is actually a strong foundation for the recent good vibes surrounding baseball in Pittsburgh.

ESPN senior writer Dave Schoenfield ranked the Pirates as the third best team in baseball in a recent 2015 preview article.  Pittsburgh constructed one of the most dynamic lineups in baseball last season, with only two players, Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco, registering an OPS+ under 100 and a good portion of their starting lineup is returning for the 2015 campaign as well.  Considering Polanco’s pedigree and that last season was his first exposure to the Major Leagues, it’s not hard to imagine his contribution to the 2015 squad improving.  While Mercer’s 12 home runs are solid for a Major League shortstop, his .255/.305/.387 triple slash leaves something to be desired, which is why Pittsburgh signed international free agent infielder Jung-ho Kang. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #63: It’s On Like Jung-ho Kang

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Kang puns continue on this week’s episode.  However, before talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates, Andy and Jason first discuss Max Scherzer at length and question if $210 million is deferred, is it really still $210 million?  Andy then analyzes the Pittsburgh Pirates’ signing of South Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang and his role on the team before he discusses his surprise about the front office’s intended plan for him.  Jason then un-ZiPS the Cleveland Indians as he takes a look at the 2015 ZiPS projections for Michael Brantley, Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis, Yan Gomes, and others.

Jung-ho Kang is a Pittsburgh Pirate

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates finalized their deal with South Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang last week.  Kang signed for 4 years and $11 million with a $5.5 million club option or $1 million buyout in 2019.  Pittsburgh is now on the hook for the $5 million posting fee as well, which means Kang is effectively costing the Pirates $16 million over the next four years.

At $4 million AAV, what vision does Pittsburgh have for Kang on their roster over the next four seasons? Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #62: Mercer Me, It’s Jung-ho Kang

On this week’s podcast, Andy and Jason discuss a very busy offseason for San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller before moving on to all things Pittsburgh and Cleveland related.  Andy first discusses the Pirates signing of A.J. Burnett and the re-signing of Francisco Liriano.  He then waxes poetic about the trade for Francisco Cervelli before discussing the move of Pedro Alvarez to first base and Pittsburgh posting for Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang.  Jason then talks about the Cleveland Indians signing of Gavin Floyd and its effect on on the rotation, the trade for Athletics outfielder Brandon Moss, and the stability of the short stop position in Cleveland over the last twenty years.

The Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Offseason

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates had another strong showing in the National League Central in 2014, falling short of a World Series berth by a few rounds, but finishing with a winning record for the second consecutive season.  For a team that finished twenty consecutive seasons with a losing record, these past few seasons have been undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

In this article I look to examine some of the more important moves that the Pirates have made this off season that could change the trajectory of the 2015 season. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #61: Brandon Moss or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Trade Rumors

On this week’s podcast, Andy comes up with his favorite title yet before he and Jason open with a discussion of the Supreme Leader of the Atlanta Braves, John Hart, and his plan for the franchise.  Jason then aggressively dissects the trade rumors swirling around Cleveland, particularly as they pertain to Oakland Athletics outfielder Brandon Moss, but also throws some other interesting names out there that have been circulating the Twitter-verse.  He talks plenty of prospect value and which of the batch of Cleveland Indian middle infielders he would feel comfortable departing with.  Andy then discusses his complex feelings towards Russell Martin signing with the Blue Jays, the catching conundrum in Pittsburgh, the Pirates’ first base situation going forward, and pours one out for his homie, Clint Barmes.  The duo conclude the podcast by answering some Tweetmails about free agents from their good friend Dan in Buffalo.