If you want to point to one reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates have been so successful this year, the most obvious reason would be their pitching. I talked about the pitching last night, pointing out how the Pirates are only projected to spend $36.5 M for the number one ranked pitching staff in baseball. But digging deeper into the success of the pitching staff, we can see the real fuel for this year's team has been the depth.
This isn't a new concept. The Pirates went through 11 starting pitchers in the first two and a half months of the season. They recently saw their All-Star closer go down with an injury, only to replace him with the guy who has the best numbers of all National League relievers. They have two prospects who have upper 90s fastballs and dominating sliders -- Vic Black and Duke Welker -- who they have barely had to use this year.
Even after burning through so much depth in the first four months of the season, the Pirates still have plenty to turn to in the final ...
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.