First Pitch

First Pitch: Time to Start Looking at the Bullpen Depth

First Pitch: Time to Start Looking at the Bullpen Depth

Jose Contreras could be a 7th inning option for the Pirates soon.

If there's one thing the Pirates have been good at, it has been finding relievers. Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and even guys like Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro have come cheap for their production. Those bullpen scouting skills look like they will be put to the test this year. Tom Bragg wrote today about how the bullpen has been over-worked, noting that a lot of the current relievers are on pace for career innings totals. If that continues, then the Pirates are likely to see some injuries, or poor performance from pitchers. When you combine that with the fact that some relievers are already playing over their heads, and will see an eventual regression, then things don't look as good for the bullpen in the long-term. In the short-term, the short outing by A.J. Burnett tonight didn't help matters.

Fortunately the Pirates have some depth. They've already started to call on that depth this year. Vin Mazzaro is current...

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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 AccuScore.com, 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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