In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Spring training continues for the Pirates in sunny Florida, and the rest of the team is set to report today. But I’m still thinking about pitchers, and Juan Nicasio in particular. An article by Adam Berry of MLB.com inspired me with an article of his own, and Nicasio has to be an under-the-radar player to watch for the Pirates this season. Last year, Nicasio was miscast as a starter coming out of spring training. He did not perform well in that role, and was eventually moved to the pen. It’s actually remarkable how much better he was as a reliever than as a starter. In May and June, when he was still in the rotation, Nicasio pitched to a 6.75 and 7.08 ERA, respectively. In July, August, and September, he pitched to an ERA under three each month. That’s a huge difference. If he can pitch to an ERA under three over the course of an entire season out of the pen, he will be a valuable asset for the Pirates.

Another step towards Opening Day begins today as the rest of the team reports for full workouts. There will be many storylines to follow. How will Andrew McCutchen perform defensively in right field, and will that move help him focus better mentally at the plate? Will Josh Bell improve defensively at first, and will he take a step forward in his first full season? Will we see Jung Ho Kang at all this spring, and will he be on the field for Opening Day? There are certainly plenty of storylines, and all of them will play themselves out by April.

Baseball Talk Around the Web

  • Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN lists the 300 top fantasy baseball players not only for this upcoming season, but for the years to come as well. Check it out here.
  • Jonah Keri of CBS Sports gives some over/under predictions on win totals for a few teams. Give his article a read here.
  • And Bleacher Report gives their latest power rankings. Where do the Pirates come in at?

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Tyler Waite

Tyler is a data analyst by day and an aspiring sports writer by night. He's been a Pittsburgh sports fan his entire life, but has a special place for the Pirates. He is fascinated by the analytical side of the game, and wants to impart his analysis as both a writer and as a fan to Pirate fans everywhere.