Monday, February 3, 2014

17 Pitchers for 12 Spots

Camp is fast approaching, and without any moves, this is how the pitching battles will shape up in February and March:

Francisco Liriano
Gerrit Cole
Charlie Morton
Wandy Rodriguez
Edison Volquez
Jeff Locke
Brandon Cumpton

Locke and Cumpton both have options remaining, which works against them. Wandy has to show that he's recovered from his arthritis, and Volquez that he can contribute, even if he is slotted into the fifth spot. If one of those two fail to make the opening day roster, look for Locke to slide in, so the Bucs have another lefty in the rotation. Jameson Taillon may get his opportunity to crack the lineup sometime this summer. The FO may also bring in a back-ender to add some depth, perhaps a guy like Chris Capuano. (We consider AJ out of the mix; but if he returns, he could calm the mid-rotation questions)

Swing Men:
Jeanmar Gomez
Stolmy Pimentel
Justin Wilson

Gomez and Pimentel are out of options, while the Bucs haven't shown any indication that they are planning to stretch out Wilson, a minor league starter, to compete for a starting role.

Jason Grilli
Mark Melancon
Tony Watson
Vin Mazzaro
Bryan Morris
Jared Hughes
Daniel Schlereth

Grilli, Melancon, Watson and the three swing men are pretty well set for the pen. Mazzaro and Morris are out of options in the battle for the last spot. Hughes has two options remaining, while Schlereth, a non-roster invitee, brings a decent MLB record as a LOOGY, something Clint Hurdle has never had in Pittsburgh, and so could join the mix. The Bucs also got back Duke Welker from the Twins. This is a deep position, and if the Pirates swing a deal for a first baseman in the next few weeks, a bullpen arm will likely be part of the package.

(Next up: the position battles)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My hope is if Wandy is injured and can't start season ( I believe he still hasn't thrown off a mound which makes me think he will start on D.L.) I would like to see them keep Locke in AAA and start Pimentel.