The 2012 Bullpen: By Popular Demand

Tony Watson received the third highest votes for the 2012 bullpen.

Yesterday I reviewed the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen, noting all of the options that are available for the 2012 season, and the limited amount of spots for all of those options.  I also ran a poll asking who you would pick for your bullpen, giving a list of all of the available options, and giving each person seven choices.  That poll ended up with the following rankings:

1. Joel Hanrahan

2. Evan Meek

3. Tony Watson

4. Daniel McCutchen

5. Chris Resop

6. Chris Leroux

7. Jason Grilli

The bullpen usually holds seven players (a closer and six relievers), so Grilli marked the cutoff for the 2012 bullpen.  Grilli was neck and neck with Jose Veras, who held the lead for the seventh spot in the pen up until the final hours of the poll.  After Veras, the only other players that stood out from the group were Daniel Moskos and Jared Hughes.  Both have options, and don’t have to start the year in the majors in 2012.  Veras, on the other hand, would likely be non-tendered if he wasn’t in line for a bullpen spot in 2012, as he’s arbitration eligible and out of options.

There’s not much of a surprise at the top of the list.  Hanrahan was the only person who received a unanimous vote, although Meek wasn’t too far behind.  It’s clear to see why Watson and McCutchen got so much attention, especially after the seasons they put up in 2011.  It’s also not a surprise to see Watson finish third in the voting, since he’s the top left handed option.

The rest of the voting includes prospects like Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson, or guys we saw in the majors this year like Hughes, Moskos, and Aaron Thompson.  There was also a spot for a free agent, although that finished 10th out of 15 available options, and didn’t stand out from the group that included Morris, Wilson, Thompson and Kevin Correia.

Everyone in the top seven is under team control, although the Pirates would have to offer arbitration to Resop and Grilli, or try to work out pre-arbitration deals like they did with Wil Ledezma last off-season.

Author: Tim Williams

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, 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.

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