Is the bullpen really bad, or is Hanrahan really good?
Watching Jose Veras closing out the ninth inning in yesterday's game gave me an all too familiar feeling. It was the same feeling I got at times when Matt Capps was on the mound. It was the same feeling that I got when Mike Williams was the closer for the Pirates. Jose Mesa, Salomon Torres, and more recently, Octavio Dotel have all brought this feeling. That feeling is that you're watching someone walking on a high wire, with no safety net below.
There is some debate over how good the bullpen actually is this year. Jose Veras gets a lot of criticism. Meanwhile, he's got a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings, with a 34:16 K/BB ratio. The ERA isn't the best stat to use for relievers, and the walks are high, but it's hard to argue that Veras isn't getting the job done. In 33 appearances this year, he's only allowed earned runs in seven games. In those seven games, he's cost the Pirates two wins, and the team has bailed him out twi...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.