Glasnow will refine, not rebuild, for 2018

Former top prospect not discouraged after rough rookie season

Glasnow will refine, not rebuild, for 2018

PITTSBURGH -- After a season that began and ended with disappointing stints in the Majors, there may not appear to be much that Tyler Glasnow can build off heading into next year. The good news? At least he doesn't have to rebuild.

The season-long numbers paint a brutal picture for Glasnow. He finished 2-7 with a 7.69 ERA and 2.02 WHIP. Only three Major League pitchers who worked at least 60 innings had a higher ERA; none had a higher WHIP.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Time for Bucs to make a splash?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Pirates fans

Inbox: Time for Bucs to make a splash?

Will this be the year that the Pirates' front office goes for it and makes a splash with a free-agent signing and/or a big trade?
-- Anton H., Chattanooga, Tenn.

That's what fans want to see after back-to-back losing seasons. An "all-in" move is bound to generate interest, which might spark the Pirates' declining attendance. But I see no reason to believe this will be the year the Bucs make that kind of "splashy" trade or signing.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Early offseason decisions loom for Bucs

Early offseason decisions loom for Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- On the surface, the Pirates don't appear to have many moving pieces heading into the winter. They must make a few decisions, however, before free agency and trade rumors hit their peak during the Winter Meetings in early December.

None of those moves will take place until after the World Series, as non-playoff clubs tend to keep quiet during the postseason. But as soon as a champion is crowned, the Hot Stove activity will begin in earnest.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Keller impresses in talented AFL duel

Keller impresses in talented AFL duel

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Every year, the majority of the best prospects in the Arizona Fall League are position players. Teams are reluctant to send blue-chip pitchers to the AFL if they've logged a full season of Minor League innings or sustained a serious injury during the season.

Glendale Desert Dogs right-hander Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 2) missed five weeks in May and June with a back strain, while Scottsdale Scorpions righty Albert Abreu (Yankees' No. 7) lost most of June and July to a shoulder strain. They're both in Arizona to make up for some lost innings, and they faced off on Tuesday in one of the marquee pitching matchups of the still-young Fall League season.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#AwardWorthy: Vote for Best Fan Catch

#AwardWorthy: Vote for Best Fan Catch

Some teams have a tradition of throwing a visitor's home run balls back onto the field. But one Pirates fan started a tradition of his own.

One Pirates fan leaned forward a row to catch a homer hit by the Cardinals' Jedd Gyorko on July 14 -- and after catching it, he turned around and launched it into the Allegheny River. That bold choice earned him a nomination for Best Fan Catch in this year's Esurance MLB Awards.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Hill's two-homer day powers Glendale

Pirates farmhand drives in all four of the Desert Dogs' runs

Hill's two-homer day powers Glendale

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Glendale Desert Dogs finished the first week of the Arizona Fall League season with a league-best 4-1 record. For Saturday's win against the Mesa Solar Sox, their fourth victory in a row, the Desert Dogs have Pirates outfielder Logan Hill to thank. Hill hit a pair of homers, driving in all four Glendale runs en route to a 4-3 victory.

The Desert Dogs put a pair of runners on in the first against Mesa starter Logan Shore (Athletics No. 8 prospect), but Shore got Dodgers infielder Matt Beaty to ground into a double play to get out of trouble. When a pair of Dodgers, outfielder Yusniel Diaz and catcher Will Smith, singled to open the bottom of the second, Hill made sure not to let Shore escape unscathed. The right-hander hung a slider and Hill drilled it out to left-center field.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Pirates pick up McCutchen's option?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Pirates fans

Inbox: Will Pirates pick up McCutchen's option?

Will the Pirates pick up Andrew McCutchen's option for 2018? -- Logan A., Slippery Rock, Pa.
General manager Neal Huntington wouldn't tip his hand, saying the Pirates will make a decision "the day that we have to," which is typically five days after the World Series ends. But it seems likely they will pick up McCutchen's $14.5 million option for next season.

Exercising McCutchen's option is not the same as committing to keep him next year, however. The Pirates could elect to trade him if they receive the right offer. His salary is reasonable, but it still accounts for a large chunk of Pittsburgh's projected payroll. Perhaps they will look to acquire value for McCutchen while they have the chance.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs have Cutch, Kang questions to answer

Will star CF and slugging 3B be with team in 2018?

Bucs have Cutch, Kang questions to answer

PITTSBURGH -- Coming off their second straight losing season, the Pirates have entered a pivotal offseason surrounded by uncertainty, facing many of the same questions as last winter.

Is this the end of Andrew McCutchen's time in black and gold? Will Jung Ho Kang be back? Will the Bucs upgrade the club, hoping to compete in the National League Central, or part ways with veterans and rebuild around their young players? What kind of moves will their budget allow or dictate?

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

Bucs collect supplies, send small group to island

Pirates aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

On Thursday, the Pirates' work in Puerto Rico began.

After collecting hurricane relief supplies outside PNC Park on Monday and Tuesday and putting everything in place on Wednesday, a small group of representatives from the Pirates boarded a FedEx cargo plane in Pittsburgh on Thursday and departed for Puerto Rico, which was recently impacted by Hurricane Maria.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Keller stellar in first Fall League start

Keller stellar in first Fall League start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The rivalry across the state of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, in a variety of sports, is well documented. On Wednesday afternoon, prospects from the Pirates and Phillies worked in unison to give the Glendale Desert Dogs a 5-1 win against the visiting Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.

Pirates pitching prospect Mitch Keller, the top-ranked pitcher in the Arizona Fall League at No. 18 overall, set the tone early with three very strong innings. The right-hander gave up three hits and one walk in his scoreless outing, striking out four.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brault, Luplow named Prospects of the Year

Brault, Luplow named Prospects of the Year

PITTSBURGH -- Steven Brault probably expected to spend more time with the Pirates this year. Jordan Luplow didn't expect nearly as much big league time as he wound up with.

The two rookies took different paths, but both led to Minor League success, recognition as MLBPipeline.com's Pirates Prospects of the Year and potentially bigger roles for the Pirates in 2018.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch earns NL Player of the Week honors

Pirates star clubbed first grand slam during 8-RBI game Tuesday

Cutch earns NL Player of the Week honors

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was selected as the National League Player of the Week for Sept. 25-Oct. 1 after a prolific stretch of production that included his first career grand slam.

After 1,342 games and 5,812 plate appearances in the Majors, McCutchen broke one of the more curious droughts in baseball with his grand slam Tuesday against the Orioles -- one of two homers and four hits he registered that day.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chance at reaching playoffs goes by wayside

Chance at reaching playoffs goes by wayside

PITTSBURGH -- Only two years removed from a 98-win campaign, the Pirates took another step back this season. They had high hopes entering the year, believing they were capable of bouncing back and landing in the postseason after a down 2016.

Instead, the Pirates were eliminated from playoff contention on Sept. 16 -- weeks after they were realistically out of it -- and ensured a second straight losing season shortly afterward. The Bucs were the only National League Central team that didn't spend a day in first place, and they only spent two days above .500: One when they were 3-2, and again when they were 49-48.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

China's Gong getting acclimated at instructs

18-year-old righty is second player signed out of country's MLB development center

China's Gong getting acclimated at instructs

The award for most miles traveled to get to Pirates instructional league play goes to Hai-Cheng Gong. Gong was signed by the Pirates out of China in May. The 18-year-old right-handed pitcher just got to Bradenton, Fla. right before instructs began and his work there is his first official time on the mound as a Pirate.

China is an international market that Major League Baseball is trying to tap into, and Gong represents the second player signed out of MLB's development centers in China (outfielder Xu Guiyuan signed with the Orioles in 2015.). Gong pitched for China in this year's World Baseball Classic and the 6-foot-2, 165-pounder speaks English, having travelled to the U.S. previously. That will undoubtedly help his transition, but there's no question he'll have a long way to go.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Huntington views McCutchen as center fielder

GM says early '18 planning has included 'Cutch', who has team option

Huntington views McCutchen as center fielder

WASHINGTON -- If Andrew McCutchen is back with the Pirates next season, he will return to center field.

General manager Neal Huntington declined to announce whether the Pirates will pick up McCutchen's $14.5 million option next month, but he revealed that the club has at least considered McCutchen to be part of its plans as it begins planning for 2018. Huntington said he and manager Clint Hurdle recently discussed the topic with McCutchen.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs begin Puerto Rico disaster relief drive

Supplies to be collected 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday before leaving for island

Bucs begin Puerto Rico disaster relief drive

PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Cervelli was standing outside PNC Park on Monday evening when a fan approached him and asked for a picture. The woman had something in return, too: a donation she felt was a long time in the making. She was too young to have helped Roberto Clemente, she told Cervelli, but she could now help the Pirates as they seek to aid Clemente's homeland in a time of need.

For 12 hours on Monday, members of the Pirates' organization unloaded items from the steady stream of vehicles that circled around the cul-de-sac on Mazeroski Way. They'll do the same thing in front of Bill Mazeroski's statue from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesday, gathering needed relief supplies for Puerto Rico as the island recovers from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

2018 MLB Draft order: Pirates to pick No. 10

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

2018 MLB Draft order: Pirates to pick No. 10

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs erupt early, finish season on high note

Bucs erupt early, finish season on high note

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Pirates closed out the 2017 regular season with an 11-8 Pittsburgh victory on Sunday afternoon in Washington.

It was the final tuneup for the Nationals (97-65) before they begin the National League Division Series against the Cubs on Friday at Nationals Park. Manager Dusty Baker gave some of his veteran players a chance to be cheered by the 35,652 fans at Nationals Park as they were subbed from the game.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Utilityman Jaso leaning toward retirement

34-year-old 'ready to make that step,' but leaves door open for return

Utilityman Jaso leaning toward retirement

WASHINGTON -- Three years ago, John Jaso thought a series of concussions might end his baseball career before he was ready. On Sunday night, after an 11-8 win in the Pirates' season finale, Jaso said he was ready to call it a career on his terms.

Jaso led off the seventh inning at Nationals Park with likely the last at-bat of his nine-year Major League career, a strikeout. Standing in front of his locker after the game, Jaso made the somewhat surprising revelation that he has been considering retirement.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maxed out! Moroff 3B caps Bucs' 4-run 9th

Maxed out! Moroff 3B caps Bucs' 4-run 9th

WASHINGTON -- The Pirates managed just one hit through the first eight innings Saturday before erupting for four runs in the ninth to steal a 4-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday night at Nationals Park.

Pittsburgh was playing without center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who was scratched from the lineup with left foot discomfort, and shortstop Max Moroff was the only Pirates player with a hit through the first eight innings. Then, Moroff capped off the ninth with a three-run triple against right-hander Brandon Kintzler.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taillon's trying season ends on strong note

After year that included cancer diagnosis, long slump, righty twirls 7 strong vs. potent Nats

Taillon's trying season ends on strong note

WASHINGTON -- Ninety-one pitches into his best start since April, Jameson Taillon leaned back and fired a 94-mph fastball to catcher Elias Diaz. After Michael A. Taylor swung and tipped the pitch harmlessly back into Diaz's glove for strike three, Taillon stepped off the mound, clapped his right hand into his gloved left hand and marched into the visitors' dugout at Nationals Park.

For all that went wrong this year, for all that he could control and more that he could not, Taillon finished strong. Taillon held Washington to one run on four hits and struck out five over seven innings Saturday night, ending a trying year on a high note in Pittsburgh's 4-1 victory.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hurdle: 'A lot of growth' in Cole's 2017 season

Ace crosses 200-innings threshold, makes career-high 33 starts

Hurdle: 'A lot of growth' in Cole's 2017 season

WASHINGTON -- How do you evaluate the season Gerrit Cole finished Friday night at Nationals Park?

As manager Clint Hurdle often says, you can "hunt the good" and find plenty of it in Cole's overall body of work. Doing so requires a full appreciation of how Cole finished last season, on the 60-day disabled list with an injured throwing elbow, and where he began this year, facing questions about his health on the first day of Spring Training.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' bats lose steam vs. Strasburg, Nats

Bucs' bats lose steam vs. Strasburg, Nats

WASHINGTON -- It was a goal for Stephen Strasburg at the beginning of Spring Training to finish the regular season healthy. Not only has he accomplished that goal, but he also ended his slate in the midst of one of the most dominant stretches of his career.

Strasburg overwhelmed the Pirates on Friday night at Nationals Park to guide Washington to a 6-1 victory. He retired the first 14 batters in order to carry a perfect game into the fifth until a single from Gregory Polanco bounced off the glove of Ryan Zimmerman. Strasburg regrouped to shut the Pirates down for 7 2/3 innings, surrendering two hits and striking out eight.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates pay respects at Walter Reed

Stewart on visit: 'It's definitely eye-opening for us'

Pirates pay respects at Walter Reed

WASHINGTON -- The Pirates spent some valuable time away from the ballpark on Friday, when a group of players and coaches visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Pirates coach Dave Jauss organized the trip through a connection from his time with the Red Sox. About a dozen Pirates players and coaches attended and met with veterans at one of the country's largest and most well-known military medical centers.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates fall on walk-off after Bell ties it in 9th

Pirates fall on walk-off after Bell ties it in 9th

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Pirates entered this series ranked first and second, respectively, in September bullpen ERAs. And yet on Thursday night, the Bucs struck for two in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game before Alejandro De Aza singled home the game-winning run in the bottom half for a 5-4 Nats walk-off victory at Nationals Park.

De Aza, who replaced Howie Kendrick (hamstring tightness) in the third inning, also drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh before he came up with the game-winning hit in the ninth against Pirates right-hander Daniel Hudson.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nova's promising year ends with finger injury

Nova's promising year ends with finger injury

WASHINGTON -- Making his career-high 31st and final start of the season Thursday night, Ivan Nova reported to Nationals Park and prepared to put a disappointing second half behind him with a solid outing to finish the year.

It lasted two innings and ended with a bunt attempt.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Change does Kuhl good in first full season

Change does Kuhl good in first full season

WASHINGTON -- The Pirates started the season with one version of Chad Kuhl in their rotation, and they'll end it with another. Pittsburgh believes Kuhl's change of identity also transformed him into a better pitcher.

Kuhl's season came to a close Wednesday night, when he allowed three runs over five innings and beat the Orioles in the Pirates' 5-3 win at PNC Park. The second-year right-hander made 31 starts this year, going wire-to-wire in the rotation, and posted a 4.35 ERA with a 1.47 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell's 25th homer powers Bucs past Orioles

Bell's 25th homer powers Bucs past Orioles

PITTSBURGH -- During their home finale on Wednesday night, the Pirates and fans at PNC Park recognized parts of Pittsburgh's past and present. There were video tributes for former infielder Pedro Alvarez and retiring broadcaster Kent Tekulve, and extended ovations for Andrew McCutchen. But their first baseman of the future made his mark, too, as Josh Bell went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in leading the Bucs to a 5-3 win over the Orioles.

Bell singled in a run in the first inning off O's right-hander Gabriel Ynoa and crushed his 25th homer to right-center field in the third, a two-run shot that gave the Pirates a one-run lead. Gregory Polanco also homered, and Starling Marte legged out an infield single to secure a seventh-inning insurance run. Bell is one shy of Jason Bay's franchise home run mark for a rookie (26 in 2004).

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rivero's 20th save features 102.6-mph fastball

Pirates' bullpen records final 12 outs in win over Orioles

Rivero's 20th save features 102.6-mph fastball

PITTSBURGH -- From the time he started playing catch on Wednesday afternoon, Pirates reliever Felipe Rivero felt strong. Stronger than usual, even.

It showed when he took the mound on Wednesday night. Rivero's fourth pitch in the ninth inning of the Pirates' 5-3 win over the Orioles was a 102.6-mph fastball that Anthony Santander took for a strike. It was the hardest pitch of the season thrown by anyone other than Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, according to Statcast™.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.