Steigerwald: How Baseball Made the Long Ball Boring

I voiced over a lot of baseball highlights in my day.

Early in my TV career I decided that the best highlights for my sportscasts were defensive plays. My competitors were still showing singles and doubles in their coverage of the night’s Major League games when I decided that singles, doubles and even home runs looked alike but great catches and throws were a lot more entertaining.

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First Half Report Card for the 2017 Pirates

The first half of the Pirates’ season is in the books, so now is the perfect time to assess each player’s performance so far.

Keep in mind these grades are based on a curve of their expectations for the year. Chris Stewart wasn’t going to be an All-Star, so it won’t be fair to judge him the same as Andrew McCutchen.

A

Josh Harrison: His glove is as good as ever and his versatility has been a lifesaver. He’s also contributing a lot more offensively now that he’s healthy. His ,369 OBP has been aided by a league high 18 HBPs, but he is chasing out of the zone less and has 21 walks- one away from his career high in 2014.

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The Pirates’ Most Underused Pitch is Marinez’s Slider

The Pirates’ bullpen is in trouble at the moment. Felipe Rivero is continuing a surefire All-Star worthy campaign, but there is not much of a bridge to get to him.

Juan Nicasio is suffering from fatigue and might be used less for the time being. Daniel Hudson has looked OK in recent high leverage situations, but he was batted around in late innings earlier in the year. He also does not seem to have much of a leash, which is why Clint Hurdle pulled him after one hit Saturday. Tony Watson is at the end of his rope.

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Analyzing Glasnow’s First Stint as a Pirate

Tyler Glasnow has finally pitched himself out of a job for the time being, getting demoted Saturday in favor of Jameson Taillon.

His first extended look in the majors did not go as planned, posting a 7.45 ERA and only going 54.1 innings in his first 12 starts. The strikeout stuff is there (8.28 per nine) and the ground ball rate is promising (43.1%), but just about everything else is somewhere between subpar to disastrous.

Friday was his sixteenth career start, which is roughly a half-season’s worth of starts in an ideal world. The problems he has shown in the majors are no longer skewed by a small sample size. There are clear problems he needs to address, and the Pirates are not going to rush them on his Indianapolis assignment.

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Perrotto: Time Has Arrived to Try Rivero as Closer

Tony Watson undoubtedly played a significant — if, at times, unheralded — role in the Pirates making three consecutive postseason appearances from 2013-15 while ending their record string of 20 consecutive losing seasons

Serving as a set-up man to Jason Grilli, then Mark Melancon, Watson had a spectacular three-year run than included a 1.97 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 222 games and 224 1/3 innings.

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