Analysis

A Lot Being Asked of Pirates’ Bullpen

A Lot Being Asked of Pirates’ Bullpen

Consistency has been a problem for the Pirates this season. The offense needed more than a week to find its stride and the starting pitching (outside of A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez) has been hit and miss. One aspect of Pittsburgh's club that actually has been consistent has been the strong work put in by the bullpen.

Justin Wilson is on pace to throw 108 innings this season. Photo credit: David Hague

Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, Jeanmar Gomez and a few others have combined to be one of the best relief pitching units in Major League Baseball through the first three weeks of the season, but the amount of innings that group is pitching is starting to add up at an alarming rate.

Those six relievers -- Grilli, Wilson, Melancon, Hughes, Watson and Gomez -- have combined to throw 57 2/3 innings through the first 18 games (11 percent of the season). That puts them on pace to pitch 519 innings this season. As good as the bullpen relief has...

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Analysis

Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for PiratesProspects.com. He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, FoxSports.com). Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports

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