Spring Training Coverage

Pirates Notebook: Wilson to Start or Relieve?

Pirates Notebook: Wilson to Start or Relieve?

SARASOTA, Fla. -- There are questions regarding left-hander Justin Wilson this spring. Should he be a reliever or a starter? Does he make the club in the Pirates bullpen as another lefty, or will he start the season in Triple-A Indianapolis?

"Truth be told, his success is going to depend on his command," Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said.

After starting the 2011 season in the Indians starting rotation, Wilson posted a 4.24 ERA over 21 starts (110.1 innings). In August, Wilson was moved into the bullpen, where he stayed the remainder of the season posting a 3.21 ERA over nine appearances. While in the bullpen, Wilson saw his velocity reach several ticks higher than his average 94-95 mph fastball.

"The velocity spiked out of the bullpen," Huntington said. "If he commands his fastball, he has a chance to be a successful starter or reliever. If we send him back to Triple-A, then that’s a question we’ll answer as we get to the process. How do we best develop the breaking...

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