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The Pittsburgh Pirates broke a 21 Year Old playoff drought in 2013, by winning 94 Games, winning the Wild Card Game to the Reds – before bowing out to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games of the LDS.
Neil Huntington has done an exceptional job assembling this club both via trade an drafting.
Not signing A.J. Burnett to a deal is actually a smart move when you figure he is going to earn $16.0 MIL in 2014. If the Bucs GM would have doled out the 1 YR/$14.1 MIL for the cagey veteran, it would have blown the teams salary structure. Read the rest of this entry
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024 and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website here Follow @prosportsroster
You guys are all in for a treat. Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website. He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs. We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams.
Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective. If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.
In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball. He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job. So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!
For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Pirates Organization click here
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Saturday October 20th, 2012
Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: Baseball, much like life, is always full of change. Just think of all the changes that Major League Baseball has undergone during the past few years. Expansion. Realignment. Wild Card. Second Wild Card. Luxury Tax. Home field advantage in the World Series from the All-Star game. And to think, that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Astros are moving next year to the AL West. Daily interleague play. The Athletics may move to San Jose. There is no doubt that the baseball we knew once upon a time is gone and buried. We are in a new golden era of baseball, one that promises to continue to evolve and thrive. Much like the sport it covers, MLB reports is on the same fast track.
If you follow MLB reports daily (which you DEFINITELY should), you have noticed the changes that we have enjoyed over the past few months. New writers, pages, website format- if there is one thing that we don’t do here, is sit on our hands. We recently had Kyle Holland come on board as our Baseball Intern and Alex Mednick as a Baseball Writer and Analyst. Haley Smilow is on board as our MLB Junior Correspondent. We have a diverse stable of writers, all with different experiences and styles. That raises the bar on the content that we bring you each and every day on MLB reports. We love our team, which continues to grow all the time. We have a devoted Cooperstown page, featuring our Cooperstown Correspondent, Patrick Languzzi. Love Fantasy Baseball? Peter Stein has you covered every week highlighting his fantasy baseball notes and advice. Our Fantasy Baseball page features Peter’s work. Lead Writer Chuck Booth, a Guinness World Record holder in baseball travel brings you exciting and informative articles every Wednesday and Friday night. The list literally goes on and on. If it involves baseball, MLB reports has you covered.
We feature at least two articles per day, posted at the start of each day around 9:00am ET and in the evening at 8:00pm ET. Life gets busy- we know that. We strive at MLB reports to always have an article ready on your computer to go along with your morning coffee at work, and a feature in the evening while you unwind. Plus you never know when surprise bonus features will hit our site next. When we say MLB 4 Life, we meet it! Make sure to follow @mlbreports on Twitter and to subscribe to our website- http://www.mlbreports.com. The link is at the top of the site. It’s free. And it’s an excellent investment in your baseball knowledge!
With all the exciting changes at MLB reports, the truth is… that there is even more to come. We always are on the lookout for bright new talent. New concepts. New topics. Just like MLB, we always want to improve and evolve. But it’s a gradual process. Starting Monday though, you will see that we will be adding a new something to MLB reports. I can’t tell you what…I’m very sorry. But you will find out very soon. My advice? Bookmark mlbreports.com and/or make it your homepage. Get into work on Monday October 22nd. Grab a cup of coffee and turn on your computer. When your boss thinks you are working, you will be preparing for our feature of the day. At 9:00am ET, you will find a new addition to MLB reports. It is both different and exciting. The feature is called “The Interview of a Lifetime” and one that you certainly cannot miss. Get ready to be shocked, entertained and informed. The best part? This is only the beginning. I feel like the Riddler…and have already said too much….
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
Friday October 5th, 2012
Featured today on MLB reports, we are proud to present the return of Robby Rowland, Pittsburgh Pirates Pitching Prospect. Robby is back on MLB Reports with his latest MLB Blog. We have been very fortunate to have Robby appear several times on MLB reports, in interviews and MLB Blogs prepared by Robby in his own words. One of our fave alumni returns with thoughts from Robby’s World. Robby looks at his transformation as a pitcher, trade to the Pirates organization and much more. Get ready for a special treat. Robby Rowland is real, funny and informative. We know you missed him…as we all did! Get ready to fulfill your Robby Rowland fix!
Robby Rowland- Guest MLB Blogger:
For those of you who have followed my journey through these blogs, I apologize for taking so much time to write this one. I would like to say thank you to MLB reports for having me on once again. For those of you who are reading one of my blogs for the first time, I want to apologize ahead of time for the writing style. I have so much that I would like to touch upon and I may not always use the proper commas or periods that some English major would… or something like that, I’m not sure. One more thanks is to my computer class teacher, who taught me how to type without looking. I’m glad I can use this skill in my baseball career, unlike all the other subjects in school that seem useless now. I also am known to ramble on a little bit, so bear with me here. Hopefully you will enjoy reading this as much as I did when I wrote it.
As I sit here, listening to a country music Pandora station, I try to think of some things that you guys would like to read about. I’ve heard some good topics via twitter and I will try my best to write about those and try to pick out topics that I can elaborate on. I will try to make this blog entry as entertaining as possible because I know how boring reading can get… if what you are reading doesn’t interest you. I had to do it ALL 4 years in high school… well, I had to read the sparknotes of whatever, which were still boring when they didn’t have anything to do with sports!
I will first talk about my transformation of becoming a “sinker ball pitcher” just over a year ago. Then I will talk about getting traded at the beginning of the season. After I have covered those 2 subjects, I will go on to write about lighter topics. Hope you enjoy and I don’t bore you! Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: We welcome back to MLB reports one of our most famous almuni, Robby Rowland. Robby interviewed with us on December 1, 2011 and also appeared as a Guest MLB Blogger on February 6, 2012 and December 31, 2011 in his blog that we call “Robby’s World”. RobbyRow is back on MLB reports…and he has some major news to discuss. As you are aware, RobbyRow was traded this past weekend to the Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Brett Lorin. Originally taken by the Dbacks in the Rule 5 Draft, the team was able to keep Lorin’s rights by completing this trade. RobbyRow was a 3rd round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2010. Now, after 2 seasons in the Dbacks organization, he is off to a new team and a fresh start in Pittsburgh.
Trades are a way of life in baseball. It’s the reality of a sport that is first and foremost a business. While difficult to be leaving the only team that he has ever known, Robby Rowland has taken the trade in stride. While he is grateful to Arizona for everything that they have done for his career, he is exciting to be joining the Pirates and competing for a rotation spot one day. It takes a very mature player to recognize the nature of a trade and the opportunities that can arise as a result, especially at such a young age. The Pirates are very lucky to have obtained this pitching prospect, as he will quickly become a fan favorite!
I caught up with RobbyRow as soon as the trade was announced. He was digesting news of the trade and preparing to join the Pirates. But being the gentleman that he is…RobbyRow still fit us into his hectic schedule. We discussed the trade, from the moment that he got to news to his future plans. Robby was extremely generous with his time in discussing the move and his thoughts. So let’s jump right into it!
Today exclusively on MLB reports, we are proud to present the newest member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and addition to their pitching prospect arsenal, Robby Rowland:
Monday February 6, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Featured today on MLB reports, we are proud to present Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect, Robby Rowland and his 2nd Guest MLB Blog. After a little bit of arm twisting, we were able to get Robby back on the Reports. Just kidding. Robby is a super guy and was very gracious in agreeing to return. For his latest Guest MLB Blog, Robby took in some suggestions from his followers on Twitter to come up with different topics to cover today. From all his entries, Robby chose to discuss life on the road, springtime and pre-game rituals. Exclusively on MLB reports, Robby Rowland is back with his latest blog entry:
Robby Rowland- Guest MLB Blog: Hello all! I am honored to say that I have been welcomed back onto the Reports. Once again, I would like to thank Jonathan for having me on here. It truly is an honor to be asked to share my experiences with the world. For those of you who have not met me in person, you should know that I just love to talk… I got kicked out of a lot of classrooms in my day because I love to chat. That’s why I am honored to be on here- because I am allowed to express my love of talking… but just on paper. I have some great topics to discuss with all of you today. The way I like to prepare my blog entries is by asking my twitter followers about subjects they would like to hear about. I like to first write them down on paper and later type in my blog. And once again I apologize if everything is just thrown down with no sense of proper writing. Boy would my english teacher in high school be upset if he/she read these…
So without further adieu, I would like to discuss several of the topics that you have all brought to my attention!
Saturday December 31, 2011
MLB reports: Happy New Year everyone! On this New Year’s Eve, we get reacquainted with an old friend. Earlier this month, we featured our interview with Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect, Robby Rowland. After getting to know Robby and staying in touch, Robby has been gracious enough to prepare a Guest MLB Blog, exclusively for the Reports. Fans of the game love to interact with its favorite players. But there are fewer bigger rushes that being able to get inside the mind of a player. Today on the Reports, Robby has opened a window into his mind and soul. We get to meet Robby and learn about his story. From growing up as a 2nd generation ballplayer, to signing with the Dbacks and his experiences during his first two professional seasons. What does a ballplayer do during the offseason to spend his time? Robby lets us know…and the answer may surprise you.
Featured today on MLB reports, we are proud to present Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect, Robby Rowland and his Guest MLB Blog:
Robby Rowland- Guest MLB Blog: First and foremost, I would like to thank Jonathan from MLB reports for giving me the opportunity to write this blog entry. With that being said, I would also like to add as a side note that I did not go to college. So if the writing in this blog is a little off, then just blame my high school teachers…
For those of you who donʼt know me, I would like to take this time to try to give you guys a clear understanding of who I am. I know when I was growing up, I was always so curious about professional athletes and what they were like. I would always look at each of them as an idol or someone famous. But in reality, us professional athletes are just everyday people. Yes, we might get some media attention and be on TV. But at the end of the day, we really are just normal people like you. I have always admired the professional athletes who, after big games or TV interviews, would still stay humble. Thatʼs one thing that my parents taught me at a young age. No matter what happens, you have to stay true to who you are.
And once again, I apologize if everything is just thrown into one paragraph. I have so many good ideas on what I want to discuss today and quite frankly, my writing skills are not as good as my pitching skills!
Now to the part where I tell you fans a little bit about myself. Let’s see… I was born in Toledo, Ohio on December 15, 1991. I bet you are wondering why a California kid was born there. Well, my dad was also a professional baseball player before me. He was playing for the Toledo Mud Hens at the time and that year we spent the offseason in Toledo. My dad played parts of 6 years in the big leagues, with the Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Giants. After I was born, I spent the next several years traveling from ballpark to ballpark. I was very young, so I donʼt remember everything about my old man’s playing days. But I do remember some of the ballparks, especially Fenway! I have some old pictures of my brother and I getting to run the bases at Fenway, but I donʼt quite remember the experience. I do remember getting to go into the clubhouses after games and wait for my dad.
We did end up moving to Cloverdale, CA in 1998. Why you ask? Because this is where my parents grew up and went to school. Cloverdale is a very small town, with a population of about 7,000 people. It has only 1 high school with about 400 students total. It definitely doesnʼt have a variety of restaurants to choose from or many of the big city amenities. I love the small town atmosphere. Everyone knows each other and the people all come to support you in the local high school sport games. It very much enjoyed growing up in this supportive and tight-knit community.
In June 2010, I was drafted in the 3rd round (88th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks. What a packed month, as during that month of June I graduated high school, got drafted, made my professional debut and got a girlfriend… talk about a roller coaster ride! I spent my ﬁrst professional baseball season in Missoula, MT- the Rookie affiliate for the D-Backs. I got to spend that whole summer with my brother, who signed with the D-Backs the day after I did. It was one of the best summers of my life. And a little bit of a blur to say the least!
It is now almost 2012 and I am in my second official offseason. So now the big question: What do Professional Baseball Players do during their time off from baseball? Well this question would be answered differently by a lot of players. During the season, all the players say that they canʼt wait for the season to be over, that it has been such a grind and they just want to rest… or whatever. And once the offseason hits, these same players say: ”Ok, now I got my rest time. Itʼs been great… for about a week. Wow, what am I supposed to do for the next 4 months!” Let me tell you what I do during my offseasons. I am a guy that can never sit still. I got kicked out of a lot of classrooms because I was so restless! So for me to be on my offseason, I am just plain miserable! I love being active to the point that when a day comes that I have nothing scheduled, I just donʼt know what to do with myself! Last offseason, I basically worked out, ran, watched movies, played video games and just chilled. I could not do that again this year. During the current offseason, I forced myself to get a little side job splitting and delivering firewood (editor’s note: what is this guy, Rocky?) that helped out a little bit. But my other job resulted in a broken truck window… I also help with the local boys varsity basketball team. So between all that, working out and running almost every day, this offseason has been a lot better.
Reflecting on my ﬁrst two seasons in pro ball, things have not gone the way I planned. Actually, the complete opposite. But just because my seasons may not look great on paper and perhaps maybe my ERA doesnʼt show this, the reality is that I have improved a great deal since I started. It is a big adjustment coming from high school to professional ball. Every pitch here counts, whereas in high school, I didnʼt really care where it (each pitch) was going. I just knew people werenʼt going to hit me based on my abilities. I have learned so much during my two years of professional baseball. Not just from a physical stand point, but from the mental side as well. This game can be great to you… or it can tear you apart. It all depends on how you approach the game. You have to be mentally strong and bounce back from setbacks to ultimately make it in baseball.
All baseball players know that this is not an easy game. But I refuse to ever give up. What doesnʼt kill you, will only make you stronger. I love this game with a passion. I live and breathe baseball. My favorite saying is “Baseball is life, the rest is just details.” I know that I am so fortunate to have received the opportunity to live the life of a baseball player. There is nothing I would rather be doing right now. So just because I had a couple of slow seasons, it does not mean that I will give up. I will continue to battle and work hard until I have thrown my last pitch. “I have the opportunity to make my dream become a reality.”
Well I hope this wasnʼt too much of a mess and you guys got to know me a little bit better. If any of you have any questions at all, please feel free to tweet me. I love to interact with fans! If you guys donʼt know this already I am a very sociable guy. Thanks for your time. Hope to be back soon!
***Robby Rowland is a pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. A big thank you to Robby for his time in preparing today’s Guest MLB Blog! Please feel free to leave any comments and feedback at the end of this page. You can also reach Robby anytime on Twitter (@RobbyRow_12)***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.
Thursday December 1, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: We are proud to welcome to MLB reports: Robby Rowland, pitching prospect of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Robby was a 3rd round pick for the Dbacks in the 2010 draft. He recently completed his second season of Rookie Ball, playing for the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League. Standing an imposing 6’6″, the soon to be 20-year old Rowland has a bright future ahead with the Dbacks. I have enjoyed getting to know Robby over the past few days, as we talked our favorite subject…baseball. I got the sense speaking to Robby that he truly loves the game. His passion and commitment will carry him very far in my estimation, as he works towards joining the Dbacks one day in Arizona. There is definitely no attitude in the world of Robby Rowland. He understands where he came from and what he needs to do in order to one day become a successful major league pitcher. With spring training less than three months away, I had a chance to catch up with Robby Rowland and learn about his career. It was a fun interview to conduct and we are looking forward to having Robby return back soon on the Reports!
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Robby Rowland – Diamondbacks Pitching Prospect:
MLB reports: Thank you for taking the time to join us today Robby. How has your offseason gone so far?
Robby Rowland: Thank you for having me! The offseason has been good. Just working out a lot and got a little part-time job. But I already want it to be over. I am just missing baseball too much right now!
MLB reports: You just completed your 2nd season in Rookie Ball. Plus you are still 19-years of age! How have you found the process of getting adjusted to playing professional baseball?
Robby Rowland: It’s definitely a tough process. I used to think that pitching was very simple; that you just throw the ball and get outs. But I have found out that a lot goes into it. Coming from high school, the adjustment was a lot harder. It’s not just throwing the ball as hard as you can anymore. It’s about pitching to your strengths and trying to locate the ball down in the zone. The hitters in pro-ball will make you pay if you make a pitch up in the zone. I am no longer able to take any pitches off; I have to be zoned in the whole game. Aside from the pitching aspect of the game, I just love professional baseball! I get to live and breathe baseball without any interferences.
MLB reports: You were drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. Did you expect to be drafted by Arizona and what round was supposed to be “your round”?
Robby Rowland: They were one of the teams that showed a lot of interest in me. It was tough to determine, just because I always had a lot of scouts at my high school games. But when it came down to it, I believe Arizona was in the top-4. Everyone told me the highest I would go was 2nd round and the lowest would be in the 4th round.
MLB reports: How did you first find out you were drafted: what was that like?
Robby Rowland: Well I had a couple family members over and we hooked up the computer to the TV in our living room so we were able to watch it on a big screen. My agent would call me and let me know that I might be selected here or there so it was kind of a roller coaster day. The names on the screen seemed to be going so slow. After the second round was completed I grew very anxious. I started thinking about the worst possible scenarios. My agent called me and told me the Diamondbacks were 50/50 in taking me. Right after I hung up with him- my area scout, Dee Brown, called me and told me they selected me. I saw my name on the screen and some highlights. Definitely a surreal moment.
MLB reports: Ever have to pinch yourself: does it feel like a dream playing professional baseball?
Robby Rowland: Haha I had to pinch myself a couple of times during those first few playing days. It’s something that I was born to do. I grew up around this game. My dad played for 10 years, so I was always around the game of baseball. My mom has a couple pictures of me when I was real young holding a couple of my dad’s bats and playing with baseballs around the house. I am just blessed that I am able to be playing the game I love for a living.
MLB reports: What other sports did you playing growing up? Given your height, did you ever consider pursuing basketball instead?
Robby Rowland: I played football when I was real young but it cut into my Fall Ball for baseball, so I only played one year. Yes actually I was always a basketball player. There were a couple of colleges that wanted me for a dual sport scholarship. It came down to my senior year until I decided to just focus on baseball. It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made in my life. Still to this day, I miss basketball.
MLB reports: What are your most dominant pitches? Any new ones you are working on?
Robby Rowland: I like to say that all of my pitches are dominant. But if I had to throw my best pitch in a certain situation, I would go with my sinking fastball down at the knees. I am a firm believer in a fastball down in the zone with movement is the toughest pitch to hit. I am not necessarily working on new pitches, but when I was instructional league down in Arizona, the pitching coordinator got with me and really helped me to define my mechanics. Before I wasn’t using my lower half and my arm slot was too high, therefore my head was tilting to the left when I would throw. What he did was straighten my body out and helped me figure out how to use my lower half. I also dropped my arm slot a little bit getting some more sink on my ball. The key now is to try and figure out how to control all my pitches with this new delivery and arm slot.
MLB reports: How would you describe “your game”? What “type” of pitcher are you?
Robby Rowland: I like to say I am a strike thrower. I guess you could say that I am a little old school in the fact that I am going to go right after hitters with my best stuff. Almost a “here you go hit it” type of guy. In high school, I was always a strikeout type of overpowering pitcher. But when I got to pro ball, I realized that I needed to start pitching to contact. Keeping the ball down and getting lots of ground balls. It’s like the Bull Durham quote, “Strikeouts are boring, besides that they’re fascist. Throw a ground ball- it’s more democratic.”
MLB reports: Looking into a crystal ball, when do you expect to make it to the Show?
Robby Rowland: I couldn’t tell you that. Of course that’s the goal. But right now it’s about figuring out how to pitch, keep getting better, and when all that comes into play- then hopefully I will make it.
MLB reports: Long term: do you expect to stay a starter or will you consider a move to the pen?
Robby Rowland: I would like to stay a starter my whole life. My dad has always told me that starters have the life! Pitch every fifth day… who wouldn’t want that? But whatever my team needs me to do I am willing.
MLB reports: What are your goals for 2012?
Robby Rowland: I have a lot of goals for 2012. I feel like I have a lot to prove after a shaky 2011 season. My main goal is to get my mechanics dialed in and keep learning how to pitch. Of course I want to be on a full season roster and log a lot of innings. But I realize I am still young and it’s all about figuring out the concept of pitching. I am always just finding ways to get better.
MLB reports: If you weren’t playing baseball, you would be __________________
Robby Rowland: Oh man… I would have to say I would be playing basketball in college somewhere…
MLB reports: Favorite pre-game meal?
Robby Rowland: Gotta go with a Quiznos sandwich here. The Black Angus steak with extra sauce. Really gets me going.
MLB reports: What music are you currently listening to?
Robby Rowland: I have a wide variety.. I’ve always loved the classic rock.. Tom Petty, Boston, Lynyrd, Grand Funk Railroad- all those bands. I will also listen to a little bit of rap and hip hop. I currently just got into a little bit of country but I don’t really know any of the singers.
MLB reports: Funniest prank you ever saw in a clubhouse?
Robby Rowland: Ohhhh… there’s been a lot of good ones. I would have to say the time when some guys took a player’s stuff out of his locker and saran wrapped it to one of the benches in the locker room.
MLB reports: Final question: What would you most want to be remembered for in baseball when you hang up your spikes?
Robby Rowland: I want to be remembered as someone who played the game the right way. Someone who every time he put a jersey on, he played the game with respect. I also want to be a game changer. The guy that you can throw out there in a must-win game and know that there is a great chance that the ball club is going to get a win. Oh and not to mention maybe one of the best hitting pitchers to ever play the game… just saying…
MLB reports: Thank you for your time today Robby. It has been a blast speaking to you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We look forward to having you back on soon!
Robby Rowland: Thanks for everything man. Let me know if there is anything else I could do for you. Sure was a fun interview!
Thank you again to Robby Rowland for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Robby. As well, please follow Robby on Twitter (@RobbyRow_12)
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.