First Pitch: Comparing the Pirates’ 2014 Starting Pitching Depth to 2013

Back in February I took a look at the starting pitching depth heading into the 2013 season. Throughout the off-season, I didn’t have concerns about the rotation, even though a lot of people were viewing the starters as a big question mark. I’d chalk that up to the age of Super Rotations. With big market teams possessing multiple aces, and number two starters pitching in the number four spot, it gives the belief that a team with just one ace can’t compete. The Pirates showed last year that you don’t need a Super Rotation in order to put up some of the top numbers in the league.

Just like last year, a lot of people are questioning the talent of the rotation heading into 2014. Once again, I’m not that concerned. In fact, looking at the depth article from last year, and comparing it to the depth this year, I’d say the Pirates look stronger in 2014.

Guarantees For the Rotation

Last year there were only three guarantees for the rotation. That would have been four if you included Francisco Liriano, who wasn’t officially signed when the article was written, and was expected to miss the start of the season.

2013 Guarantees

A.J. Burnett

Wandy Rodriguez

James McDonald

2014 Guarantees

Francisco Liriano

Gerrit Cole

Charlie Morton

Edinson Volquez

The Pirates don’t have Burnett returning at the moment, but the rotation heading into 2014 looks stronger than it did heading into 2013. Liriano is pretty much this year’s Burnett. Last year Burnett was coming off a great season, with questions of whether he could do it again. This year, Liriano is in the same situation.

I think I would take Gerrit Cole over Wandy Rodriguez, just because Cole started to look like an ace at the end of the 2013 season, while Rodriguez was never expected to put up ace numbers.

McDonald was only a guarantee for the rotation because of his first half in 2012. The Pirates have a similar pitcher in Jeff Locke this year, although Locke isn’t a guarantee to be in the rotation, and could start the 2014 season in Triple-A. That gives an indication of how much stronger the 2014 rotation looks compared to 2013.

You could add Liriano to the 2013 group, although it’s hard to evaluate him due to hindsight. If we’re looking at the strength of the rotation from Opening Day, then I’d say Morton/Volquez looks just as strong right now as Liriano/McDonald did pre-season last year. We know that Liriano turned into an ace, and I don’t project that for Volquez. But I’ll get to the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 comparison in a moment.

Contenders for the Rotation

The Pirates had two open spots in the rotation last year. This year they might not have any open spots, depending on the health of Wandy Rodriguez.

2013 Contenders

Francisco Liriano

Jeff Locke

Kyle McPherson

Jeff Karstens

Jonathan Sanchez

2014 Contenders

Wandy Rodriguez

Jeff Locke

I’d put more than those two in there, but right now I think Rodriguez gets the job, and if he isn’t healthy, Locke gets the open spot due to his first half in 2013. Again, Liriano was included in the above list due to his signing status, but we’ll continue to keep him in the guaranteed list.

You could add guys like Brandon Cumpton to this group, but I’d be surprised if Cumpton won a rotation spot on Opening Day without an injury. And that makes him perfect for the next section.

Early Season Depth

The funny thing about last year’s article was this comment to open the depth section:

With all of the options above, you don’t really need much early season depth. If the Pirates get to this point, we probably should be talking about who they’ll pick in the top five of the 2014 draft.

Sure enough, Jeanmar Gomez was starting by the beginning of May, and we definitely aren’t talking about a top five pick in 2014.

2013 Depth

Chris Leroux

Vin Mazzaro

Jeanmar Gomez

Andy Oliver

Justin Wilson

2014 Depth

Brandon Cumpton

Phil Irwin

Stolmy Pimentel

Jeanmar Gomez

Justin Wilson

The 2013 group is pretty weak looking, although to be fair, that’s because the rotation was up in the air. A lot of the contenders for the final two spots would have become early season depth options. Still, the 2014 group looks strong, and would also include Jeff Locke if Wandy Rodriguez is healthy for Opening Day.

Mid-Season Options

The Pirates got a big boost from Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton last year around mid-season. They won’t need the boost from Morton, but they might get another Gerrit Cole-like boost this year.

2013 Mid-Season Options

Gerrit Cole

Charlie Morton

Phil Irwin

2014 Mid-Season Options

Jameson Taillon

Kyle McPherson

Nick Kingham

Casey Sadler

Cole is slightly better than Taillon, but Taillon is good enough that he could come up and put up dominant numbers right away. They both have the potential to be top of the rotation pitchers one day, but it would be unfair for Taillon, or any pitcher, to expect the same results we saw from Cole in 2013. That said, those results are not out of the question.

McPherson was brought back on a minor league deal, and is recovering from Tommy John surgery. He should be available around July, and could be a second half option.

Last year I listed Irwin as mid-season emergency depth, although he was needed in April. Kingham and Sadler both fit the same role. They both are candidates to make it to Triple-A to start the season, although there might only be room for one of them on Opening Day. They both could also make it to Pittsburgh by the end of the season, and would be emergency depth options if he 2014 season saw the same injury issues as the 2013 season.

End of 2013 to Beginning of 2014

I don’t like the end of year/beginning of year comparisons because they give the end of the year comparisons an unfair advantage. We know that Burnett followed up his 2012 season with a strong 2013 season, while some may question Liriano. We know how Liriano worked out, but we have no clue what Volquez will become. We know how Cole performed mid-season, but we don’t know how Taillon will perform.

In comparing the end of 2013 with the beginning of 2014, you can eliminate Liriano, Cole, and Morton, since they are on both lists. There’s also the Wandy Rodriguez/Jeff Locke comparison, although it’s possible that Locke could be in the 2014 rotation if Rodriguez isn’t healthy. Either way, I’d say that’s a wash. The comparison really comes down to Burnett and Volquez, with the advantage going to Burnett.

The problem with this comparison is that it tells us nothing. It doesn’t say anything about the 2013 season as a whole. It just looks at the final rotation. It doesn’t say anything about the possibilities in 2014, or the possible end of the season rotation. It just tells us what the talent could be on Opening Day. The 2013 season ended with three guys putting up top of the rotation results (Liriano, Burnett, Cole), one guy putting up #3 starter results (Morton), and one guy who was bounced from the rotation (Locke). The 2014 season could have three top of the rotation guys (Liriano, Cole, Taillon), a #3 starter (Morton), and hopefully the final starter would end the season better than Locke did in 2013.

Comparing 2014 to 2013

At the very least, I’d say the rotation looks just as strong in 2014 as it did in 2013. If I’m in the minority in saying this, then that would be the same situation as last year.

At the start of the year, the Pirates look better off. Liriano/Cole/Morton/Volquez/Rodriguez looks better going into the 2014 season than Burnett/Rodriguez/McDonald/Liriano/??? did prior to the 2013 season.

In the middle of the season, the two teams are comparable. They both include top pitching prospects set to arrive in June. They both include strong depth that should keep the rotation productive throughout injuries. I’d also mention that I don’t see the Pirates suffering the same amount of turnover in 2014 as they did in 2013. They used a ridiculous amount of starting pitchers in the first three months of 2013, which was very unlucky.

The end of the 2014 season requires some projection, and comes with big disclaimers that injuries can happen, and performance is unexpected. The unexpected performance works both ways though, so we can’t expect players to only under-perform. If things go well, the end of 2014 could be very similar to the end of 2013.

The pitching staff was what carried the 2013 team. I think the 2014 staff is just as good or better than the 2013 group from start to finish. At this point I doubt A.J. Burnett will return, but that doesn’t mean the 2014 rotation is worse. Burnett was the only top of the rotation pitcher on Opening Day last year. Now the Pirates have Liriano and Cole. He was one of three guys with top of the rotation results at the end of 2013, and the Pirates could have Liriano, Cole, and Taillon doing the same thing this year. Burnett would be a huge luxury for the Pirates, but as far as having a rotation that is as strong as the 2013 rotation, he’s not a need.

Links and Notes

**The 2014 Prospect Guide is now available. The second shipment of books will be arriving on Saturday and shipping out on Monday morning. The Prospect Guide is also available as an eBook. Click here to purchase the paperback version. The link also includes eBook information and discount codes.

**Prospect Rewind: How Gregory Polanco Became the Pirates’ Top Prospect

**Buster Olney listed his top ten MLB rotations this morning, and had the Pirates rated #5. So I guess I’m not alone in thinking the Pirates have a good rotation going into 2014.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

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.

Share This Post On
  • jamminjoe66

    I’d still love to see Wilson in rotation with Locke to pen

    • Y2JGQ2

      Why would anyone want Locke in the pen? He is far more valuable in the rotation if he can get it back together. He earned the right to get a shot this spring since it was all mechanics when he lost it. If he has it back, he is a starter just like JMac, if he had it back last year, he’d be our #2 right now, but he didn’t. JMac earned a shot and so did Locke, lets just see what happens

  • https://profiles.google.com/113712883335661247632 unfurious

    If AJ doesn’t sign in the offseason, is there a chance that they may come to a Roger Clemens-like understanding where he stays in shape and PIT signs him to a mid-season contract for the final stretch? That seems feasible to me if Burnett holds to his stance of Pirates or retirement.

    • Y2JGQ2

      I seriously doubt it- it just doesn’t fit AJ’s persona. I think we’ll know mid January if he is coming back or not, that gives about a month to start getting himself ready for spring training.

      • mpep86

        I’m with unfurious. We all know Burnett hates spring training,spent most of last spring in minor league camp. Waiting till May to decide would allow him to be in the rotation in June and give him an extra couple months with his family. Plus he could be the dominant strike out pitcher he likes to be with out having to worry about wearing out down the stretch.

  • Bridgevillebuc

    Can’t want for April!!!!

  • emjayinTN

    Tim: The Pirates look a lot better in the Rotation in 2014 than they did going into 2013, but I do have reservations. IMO, if the team is going to repeat the performance of 2013, we are going to have to depend heavily on Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton right from the very beginning of the year. The drawbacks of that scenario are that Cole pitched more innings than expected in 2013, and Liriano and Morton have a tendency to be “every other year” type guys. Actually, I had hoped to have AJ Burnett back for 2014 so that we could put Liriano on the trade block before ST in order to take full advantage of his success in 2013, because his value is at the highest point right now. The 3 year extension to Morton is proof that the Pirates feel that he has turned the corner on being a solid #3 or better in the Rotation. With the reality that Liriano and Rodriguez are gone at the end of 2014, he may be our veteran presence in the Rotation. I think with Charlie it is all a matter of confidence, and he definitely crashed through that barrier in 2013, and I would love to see him build upon that in 2014 and beyond.

    It is difficult though to ignore the wealth of pitching talent that the Pirates have prepared and ready to throw out there at a moment’s notice. Locke, Cumpton, Gomez, and Wilson all received a wealth of needed experience last year at the MLB level and probably gave them much to work on for 2014. And then Jameson Taillon and the possibility of Stolmy Pimental in some capacity, and that does not even include Nick Kingham, another in the long, long line of power RHSP’s that the Pirates have assembled. The offense, defense, and bullpen appear to be appreciably better going into 2014, so even if there are any minor hiccups with the Rotation, I think the Pirates go into the year very strong.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bruce.humbert Bruce Humbert

    I find it a bit scary that you consider Volquez a “guarantee” – i hope they can make something serviceable out of him – but I see him as Sanchez II – hope I am wrong on this. I have Jeff Locke as my “bounce back” pitcher of the year – he did some great things for the team for the first 90 games or so… Even if he is just 90% of that next year they have a solid #4 starter to get them to July when Tailon might be ready.

    • jaygray007

      I think Volquez is a good bit different from Jonathan Sanchez.

      Sanchez’s surface results (ERA) AND fielding independant stats were absolute garbage before he came to pittsburgh. Plus, he only had a minor league deal. I don’t think they really planned on giving him starts in the beginning of the season.

      At least volquez’s fielding independant stats are still decent. We should expect an ERA of about 4 and at least 170 innings. And that’s just with a luck bounceback and doesnt even include Searage Demon Magic. I agree that he isn’t ideal, but my guess is that he’s one of the only starters who are both promising enough to replace burnett’s innings if he doesn’t return to the team AND cheap enough to still have the payroll room to sign burnett if he does decide to come back. An insurance policy with a lot of the same indicators for future success that Liriano had (of course liriano has had some more success in the past, hence the bigger contract).

      Also, i recently read an article about Locke’s xFIPs between the first half and second half. He was essentially just as good in the 2nd half as he was in the 1st half, except he was on opposite ends of the luck spectrum.

      • Y2JGQ2

        jaygray- I’ll tell you what. If you are willing, I’ll bet against that. I’ll put up a Pirates Jersey of your choice as a winning bet.

        I’ll spot you an ERA of 4.25 with at least 160 innings for the Pirates. If he can meet or beat both of those numbers, the jersey is yours. Are you willing to put up anything against that?

        My expectations are an ERA around 4.50-4.75 at best, averaging about 5 1/3 innings per start and that he gets replaced after 20 starts giving him roughly 110 innings.

        • jaygray007

          Very interesting haha. i like it. Ballsy!

          I don’t think i wanna bet actual things (but will still think about your offer), but I’d be happy to at least keep an eye on his numbers and have a friendly Volquez rivalry!

          I do like the chances at the ERA you proposed, but it’s just tough to bet on the innings since he could very well become a super reliever type if AJ’s brought in or Taillon’s brought up or whatever. While he costs $5 mil, he’s still one of the less expensive SP on the squad and doesnt have the long term impact of moving the less expensive Morton, Cole, Locke out of the rotation.

        • jaygray007

          My main point was just that we should be able to expect something other than Jonathan Sanchez pt II.

          I sure don’t expect Liriano pt II either, but he has a lot of the same indicators he had. Good ‘Stuff’ and similar fielding independant stats (check out Liriano’s 2011 and 2012. Very similar to Volquez!). He doesn’t have the past ace production that Liriano has so he probably doesnt have quite the same quality of ‘stuff.’

          I do like how i put the ” my guess is that he’s one of the only starters who are both promising enough to replace burnett’s innings if he doesn’t return to the team AND cheap enough to still have the payroll room to sign burnett if he does decide to come back.” part though.

    • Cato the Elder

      I don’t think anybody is guaranteeing performance, only a spot in the rotation to start the year. Sanchez wasn’t brought in to be in the to be a part of the rotation to start the year, injuries made that a reality. Injuries could always derail Volquez, but barring that he will start in the rotation.

      And for the record Locke had an ERA of 3.52 and xFIP of 4.19 while Volquez had an ERA of 5.71 and an xFIP of 4.07. So if by “bounce back”you mean: improve on last year’s performance, then the smart money is on Volquez as the bounce back candidate.

      • emjayinTN

        C: Excellent points about a bounce back candidate, and I think he will benefit playing with a winner. Getting traded from a contender like Cincy to San Diego had to take a toll on him mentally, and the short time he was with the Dodgers in Sep, he did well. He has a similar pitch make-up as Morton, near the same velocity, and should benefit from the Pirates infield. He made some good strides last year dropping his W/9, but his K/9 went down also. I would love to see him get that W/9 under 3.50 and still maintain the K/9 above 7.00. If he does, I think he will be the “find” of the year. He has definitely been an innings eater the past 2 years with 64 total starts and 350+ IP. Burnett came in with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove to the Yankees – let’s hope that Volquez feels the same way about Cincy.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

      He is guaranteed to be in the rotation. They didn’t sign him for $5 M to be a reliever or to cut him out of Spring Training.

      • WTM

        And Locke has an option left.

      • mblthd

        I didn’t interview Clint Hurdle, but I’m guessing that if you were to ask him, he’d likely tell you that nobody is ever guaranteed anything.

        If you were to say that Volquez is likely to begin the 2014 season in the starting rotation, I’d go along with that, but “guaranteed?” No way. If he (or any other pitcher, for that matter) were to struggle through ST games unable to throw a strike, or if he were unable to crack 85 mph on his fastball, or otherwise demonstrate no potential for effectiveness, then there’s no way they’d pencil him into the rotation.

        None of those scenarios are likely, so yeah, Volquez is likely to start 2014 in the rotation, but “likely” is not the same thing as “guaranteed.” If you don’t believe me, just ask Derek Bell.

        • jon6er

          Totally agree With Tim on Volquez and the 5 million dollars.

          • mblthd

            The notion that someone’s salary/contract “guarantees” him a roster spot, much less a rotation spot, no matter how ineffective he might be, is absurd.

            I’m not saying it’s likely to happen with Volquez, and I hope it doesn’t, but high-$ contract (a LOT more than $5MM) players have lost jobs due to ineffectiveness. The Dodgers signed Andruw Jones to 2/36 in December 2007 and released him 13 months later. The $18MM they owed him didn’t “guarantee” him a roster spot for the 2009 season.

            • jon6er

              Pirates aren’t the dodgers!

              • mblthd

                That’s beside the point, which is that there is no such thing as a guarantee as to a roster/rotation spot. If Volquez (or Morton or Liriano or anyone else) shows up to ST and walks every single batter he faces on 4 straight pitches, he will be pulled from the rotation.

                Again, it is highly unlikely that Volquez (or Morton or anyone else) will show up to ST and walk every batter he faces on 4 straight pitches. Therefore, it is very likely that Volquez will have a spot in the rotation. And yes, his $5MM contract makes it likely that management will give him a long leash (of continuous ineffectiveness) before pulling him from the rotation.

                But to say he’s “guaranteed” a rotation spot, i.e., no matter what happens in ST, however unlikely it may be, he will start the season in the rotation, even if he walks every batter he faces in ST on 4 pitches, is absurd.

                • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

                  I feel like the thing that is absurd is coming up with a scenario where a pitcher walks every batter on four pitches, and acting like that remote possibility means the Pirates aren’t actually looking at Volquez as a guaranteed member of the rotation.

                  • mblthd

                    “Guarantee” = an assurance of a particular outcome.

                    To say PIT has guaranteed Volquez a rotation spot is to say they have assured him the spot is his no matter what happens in ST. Maybe that’s true but I doubt it. I don’t think anyone is ever “guaranteed” anything, no matter what his salary might be.

                    Some players are given a much longer leash than others, often to the extent that ST numbers don’t matter (e.g., McCutchen could go oh-fer for all of ST and he’d still be the Opening Day starting CF), but there’s a difference between “given a long leash” and “guaranteed.”

                • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

                  If you look at the Pirates history, there are some players who are “guaranteed” a spot, no matter their performance in ST. Usually the players fighting for a spot are fighting for a bench/bullpen or fifth starter spot. Volquez falls into the “guarantee” category, based on their history with similar players.

                  • mblthd

                    Again, I disagree but concede that I could be 100% wrong, i.e., it’s possible that if Clint Hurdle were sitting here right now, and we asked him, “Is Player A absolutely guaranteed such-and-such role on the team this year?” he might very well say, “Yes, he is.” I’d be stunned if he were to say that, but since I haven’t interviewed him, I don’t know for certain.

                    If I were manager, nobody would ever be guaranteed anything. Past performance might very well weigh into the evaluation, e.g., even if McCutchen goes oh-fer-ST, I’d still start him in CF. Based on his track record, it would pretty much take him showing up to camp over 300 pounds and blind-drunk every day for me not to pencil him in as the starting CF. But still, if the job were “guaranteed” to be his, then he could show up 300 lbs and blind-drunk every day and he’d still be the starting CF.

  • Y2JGQ2

    Has anyone heard anything additional about the potential comeback of Mark Mulder? I still think he’d be worth a look if he is as healthy as he thinks he is. He retired young and gave himself a long time to heal

  • Y2JGQ2

    I say we jump in right now, and take all that money we aren’t spending on a right fielder, on a first baseman, and throw it at A.J. There literally are no better options available to make our team better that I can see. Give him 1 year 17 million and see if that makes any difference. Allow Wandy to retire- do something else with Volquez like sell him to Japan

    • Cato the Elder

      There is no indication that the issue re AJ is money.

  • Y2JGQ2

    I’d like to see Locke and Wilson fight it out for the 5th starter spot

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

    No worries about the 2013 rotation?unless you partake in a lot of kool-aid drinking or unless you can predict the future …. Bull spit. No questions about 2014 rotation? Bull spit. Every year we will have less and less questions but All you have to look at is past numbers and this isn’t a top 10 rotation. Third best in the division ( based on talent and past numbers and upside )
    Cardinals rotation options: Wainwright,Wacha,Kelly,Lynn,Miller ,Martinez,Garcia (at least 5 top 2 arms)
    Reds Options- Cueto,Bailey,Latos.Leake (3 top 2 arms)
    Pirates options – Liriano (health inconsistency concerns)Cole( great upside) ,Wandy (health probably a #4 at best) Morton( good stuff been very inconsistent,should have best year of career but I’m not a fortune teller) Locke. No one knows but he isn’t early 2013 good) Volquez. I like the stuff and upside,but he’s been horrible. I do have faith in our staff to get more out of these guys but come on. It might work out as good as last year. But anyone who predicts it is lying … and frankly it’s a bit insulting. Taillon is on the way but I do not see him as depth until he he is looking like he is ready Cumpton and Irwin are #5 starters at best. Get Burnett n this rotation or show me Wilson in the rotation I have a lot less questions. If you root for a small market team like the Pirates you pretty much always have worries about .

    • stickyweb

      Chris, no doubt the Cards have some great young arms and the Bucs have the misfortune of being in the same division. 2nd or 3rd best in the division might be 2nd or 3rd best in all of baseball.

      The Cards seem to be right where the Bucs will be in 2 years when Cole, Taillon, Glasnow and Kingham are all up, Morton’s still here, and Heredia is knocking on the door.

  • stickyweb

    The strongest argument for 2014 rotation being better than 2013 is early in the column:

    “McDonald was only a guarantee for the rotation because of his first half in 2012. The Pirates have a similar pitcher in Jeff Locke this year, although Locke isn’t a guarantee to be in the rotation, and could start the 2014 season in Triple-A. That gives an indication of how much stronger the 2014 rotation looks compared to 2013.”

    A young SP with decent stuff that had a great 1st half the prior season and a terrible 2nd half. Last year he was the #3 guaranteed starter, this year he has the edge for the #5 spot, or if Wandy is good to go, will start in AAA and be the first depth option.

    End of discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    From the above Volquez ‘bet’ I near the smart money is on Y2JGQ2’s side.

    At least that is where MY money is going!

    No offense, Jay…..

    :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

      I ‘hear’ the smart money….I hate typing on an ipad……

      • jaygray007

        no offense taken.

        i’ve just played so much Devil’s advocate for Volquez that i think i’ve fooled myself into actually liking the signing.

        we’ll see haha. i’m not gonna make the bet, but i’d be pretty happy to be right. however, if he doesn’t get those innings, then it’ll be either because Taillon is awesome or AJ is back, so in a way it’d be good if he doesn’t reach 160.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    If you are an ESPN Insider, Buster Olney has our rotation ranked #5

    not bad

    • Kevin_Young

      Is there any sort of AJ caveat included in that?

  • CalipariFan506

    I hate predicting innings for Pirates starters because the manager doesn’t use many guys for more than 6 innings. IMO the concern with the Pirates is how guys like Melancon, Wilson and Watson bounce back after really high appearance totals or if Grilli can stay healthy enough to get to 75 appearances. I think Hurdle burns through relievers and it might catch up.

    • https://profiles.google.com/113712883335661247632 unfurious

      I love that approach though. I think that shortening starter outings, especially at the beginning of the year, helps them develop that bulldog mentality. They don’t have to worry about conserving themselves. When you have a dominant bullpen, you can do that and it’s a positive. Last year, when they went to the pen, it often signified an early end to the game. I agree that is can be a strain on the bullpen arms but they have quality depth there and it’s easier to replace relievers than starters.

  • rburgh

    This is off-topic, but the Rangers DFA’ed Chris McGuiness today. I’d think he was worth a waiver claim, if only to drive down the price of Ike Davis.

    • glassers

      Pretty much agree with your assessment regarding the pitching for 2014 and really like the kids that will be knocking on the door . Hopefully the injury bug will stay away this year , I thought the Pirates did an outstanding job managing through that .

  • https://www.facebook.com/bruce.humbert Bruce Humbert

    My prediction – heading north out of spring training the potential starters for the backend of the rotation will look like this…

    I really think the $5 million on Volquez will be a total waste….

    1. Wilson
    2. Gomez
    3. Cumpton
    4. Pimental
    5. Locke
    6. Volquez