The Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season this year in large part to their starting rotation. It wasn't the Opening Day rotation that led to their success. It was the depth throughout the season that kept the Pirates afloat. The Pirates ended up using 12 starting pitchers, and most of those starters made an appearance in the first three months of the season. They didn't have many pitchers who were removed from the rotation for poor performance. Instead, they had an abnormal amount of injuries. The only way they were able to contend was because they always managed to have a pitcher available at the right time.
Below is a timeline of the starting pitching injuries, and the players who stepped up as replacements.
A.J. Burnett was the Opening Day starter for the Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Opening Day Rotation - A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jonathan Sanchez, Jeff Locke (Starting Pitcher Count: 5)
It only took about two weeks until the Pirates needed...
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.