First Pitch: How Much Pitching Depth Do the Pirates Actually Have?

First Pitch: How Much Pitching Depth Do the Pirates Actually Have?

When I first saw the rumor that the Pittsburgh Pirates are said to have interest in Arizona Diamondbacks' left-hander Joe Saunders, my first thought was "why do they need pitching?"

That led to the thought "maybe they don't think Rudy Owens and Jeff Locke are prospects".

I kicked that idea around for a bit. Kevin Correia is a big regression waiting to happen (and if you look at the post-April stats, the regression might already be taking place). Brad Lincoln has struggled for two straight starts, and Sunday's outing will be make or break. Yet we haven't heard much talk about Owens or Locke getting the call, despite good numbers in Triple-A.

But then I looked at the rotation, and noticed that a pitching staff that once ran 8-9 pitchers deep is now looking pretty thin.

A.J. Burnett and James McDonald are both pitching well. McDonald is due for a regression, but I don't think he will regress too far. It was only a few years ago that he was the number 56 prospect in all of baseball. He...

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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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