First Pitch: How Many Starters Do the Pirates Realistically Need?

First Pitch: How Many Starters Do the Pirates Realistically Need?

Tonight I wrote about how the Altoona Four is providing depth for the majors, as well as trade chips if the Pirates need to go that route. The tendency when talking about any position is to look at the position, find the bare minimum amount of players needed, and start discussing any excess in trade talks. There is never any consideration given to keeping the extra players around for depth.

Take the outfield situation, as an example. Starling Marte will eventually arrive in the majors, which will force one of Alex Presley or Jose Tabata to the bench. The quick reaction is a suggestion that the Pirates could trade one of the two outfielders. But is there any crime in keeping both of them, and using one as a fourth outfielder, or a strong backup should one of the starting three go down with an injury?

When it comes to pitchers, there's even more of a need for depth. Pitchers get hurt. That's just their thing. The Pirates had ten starters make at least one start in 2011, and seven of th...

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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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