The Pirates got started on improving the starting rotation today, but their first move was an uninspiring one. The team has reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former Marlins and Nationals pitcher Scott Olsen, with a base salary somewhere around $1 million. The deal will likely become official later in the week, once Olsen completes a physical.
So what sort of boost should we expect Olsen to provide the Pirates’ starting rotation? Well, probably not much. He has battled injuries the past few seasons, and he hasn’t pitched particularly well since 2006. He boasts a career ERA of 4.85 along with mediocre peripheral numbers. His ERA in 2010 was 5.56, although he did boast an xFIP of 4.39 due to a career high groundball rate.
Let’s take a look at a few projections for Olsen, along with projections for some of the other internal rotation options. The first column is a projected context-neutral ERA from CHONE, the now defunct projection syst...
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.