With the New York Yankees claiming their 27th World Series Championship last night, the 2009 baseball season is in the books. It also means that PitchByPitch is one year old! I started this site one year ago (the day after the Phillies won the 2008 title), as a place to host my baseball scoring projects and as a place to track the Pirates through thick and thin. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed year #1, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

Just this week, the Pirates made their Blueprint for Success available to the public. The blueprint talked about their 5 core priorities: Extremely aggressive drafts, Increased focus in our international operations, Aggressively adding talent at all levels, Rebuilind our player development systems, and Significant investment in our core operations.

Days later, the Pirates made good on one of their priorities by acquiring Akinori Iwamura from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Jesse Chavez. Iwamura is a 30 year-old second-baseman who will make $4.85 million in 2010. Iwamura fills an obvious need for the Pirates at 2B. He’s an exciting player, and I look forward to seeing him in black and gold. With the departure of Chavez, our bullpen is even further depleted. You have to believe that the bullpen is the next thing that management will look to improve.

Finally, I got a good chuckle when I looked at the rewards available on my Pirates’ Bank of America credit card. I was curious when I saw “Pirates Autographed Baseball”. Then, I saw the players that were available.


Hmm… who to choose?

Go Bucs!

Congratulations to Andrew McCutchen, Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year!


Also, congratulations to Garrett Jones who was named to Baseball America’s 2009 All Rookie Team.



In what should be the last trade prior to the deadline, the Pirates traded John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Chicago Cubs. In return, the Pirates have acquired right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and infielder Josh Harrison.

Just hours after Jack Wilson was shipped to Seattle, Freddy Sanchez was traded to the Giants.

In return, the Pirates received Tim Alderson, a right handed pitcher who was highly regarded within the Giants’ organization.

Word is now that Grabow and Gorzo could be dealt to the Cubs. 1 more day til the trade deadline.

This piece of news wasn’t too surprising. I’ll miss Jack Wilson at shortstop, but Management has made it pretty clear that season could be Wilson’s last with the Buccos.

The Pirates also sent Ian Snell to Seattle, but they picked up 5 guys in what seems to be a Grand Slam deal for the Bucs.

Here’s who’s coming to the Burgh.

First baseman Jeff Clement, #1 Mariner prospect in 2006 and 2008
Shortstop Ronny Cedeno, hopefully can fill the hole at SS.
Right-handed pitchers Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock… all solid A pitchers.

Rumors are now circulating that the Giants may be interested in Sanchez. 2 days until the trade deadline!

The trading of Bucco starters has continued. We expected Adam LaRoche to be dealt sometime this season. A deal was made with the Boston Red Sox.

The Pirates acquired shortstop Argenis Diaz and right-handed pitcher Hunter Strickland.

Tonight in St. Louis, the National League goes for their first All Star Game win since 1996.

Freddy and Zach are reserves.

The rest of the Buccos are taking a few needed days off.


Congratulations to Zach Duke!

He joins the NL All Star roster to replace the injured, Matt Cain.


Who will represent the Bucs?

My vote is for Freddy Sanchez, but John Russell has been campaigning hard for Zach Duke. We’ll know within the hour.


American League Starters
C – Joe Mauer – MIN
1B – Mark Teixeira – NYA
2B – Dustin Pedroia – BOS
3B – Evan Longoria – TBA
SS – Derek Jeter – NYA
LF – Jason Bay – BOS
CF – Ichiro Suzuki – SEA
RF – Josh Hamilton – TEX

National League Starters
C – Yadier Molina – SLN
1B – Albert Pujols – SLN
2B – Chase Utley – PHI
3B – David Wright – NYN
SS – Hanley Ramirez – FLO
LF – Ryan Braun – MIL
CF – Raul Ibanez – PHI
RF – Carlos Beltran – NYN (injured – will not play)

National League Pitching Staff
Matt Cain – SFN
Ted Lilly – CHN
Dan Haren – ARI
Tim Lincecum – SFN
Chad Billingsley – LAN
Josh Johnson – FLA
Ryan Franklin – SLN
Heath Bell – SDN
Jonathan Broxton – LAN
Francisco Rodriguez – NYN
Johan Santana – NYN
Francisco Cordero – CIN
Jason Marquis – COL

National League Reserves
Justin Upton – ARI – OF
Brian McCann – ATL – C
Brad Hawpe – COL – OF
Hunter Pence – HOU – OF
Miguel Tejada – HOU – IF
Orlando Hudson – LAN – IF
Prince Fielder – MIL – IF
Ryan Howard – PHI – IF
Freddy Sanchez – PIT – IF
Adrian Gonzalez – SLN – IF
Ryan Zimmerman – WAS – IF

American League Pitching Staff
Zack Greinke – KCA
Roy Halladay – TBA
Justin Verlander – DET
Tim Wakefield – BOS
Mark Buehrle – CHA
Jonathan Papelbon – BOS
Joe Nathan – MIN
Mariano Rivera – NYA
Brian Fuentes – ANA
Andrew Bailey – OAK
Felix Hernandez – SEA
Josh Beckett – BOS
Edwin Jackson – DET

American League Reserves
Adam Jones – BAL – OF
Kevin Youkilis – BOS – IF
Victor Martinez – CLE – C
Curtis Granderson – DET – OF
Torii Hunter – ANA – OF
Justin Morneau – MIN – IF
Jason Bartlett – TBA – IF
Carl Crawford – TBA – OF
Ben Zobrist – TBA – IF
Michael Young – TEX – IF
Aaron Hill – TOR – IF

American League Final Vote
Adam Lind – TOR, Ian Kinsler – TEX, Chone Figgins – ANA, Carlos Pena – TBA, Brandon Inge – DET

National League Final Vote
Mark Reynolds – ARI, Matt Kemp – LAN, Shane Victorino – PHI, Pablo Sandoval – SFN, Cristian Guzman – WAS