No one from the Pittsburgh Pirates will come out and say the rotation is set with two weeks to go until the regular season begins. But the truth is that the rotation is set with two weeks to go until the regular season begins. In fact, the rotation has been set for a long time.
The top three starting pitchers were guaranteed spots coming into the season. Francisco Liriano pitched like an ace last year, and is in year two of his contract with the Pirates. Gerrit Cole is the ace of the future, and looked like he was moving into that role at the end of the 2013 season. Charlie Morton was finally healthy last year, and looked like a strong middle of the rotation starter. He also signed an extension over the off-season, which bought out control of three free agent years.
That left two rotation spots, and two likely candidates.
The first candidate was Wandy Rodriguez. All off-season, there were questions about Rodriguez's health, and whether he'd be able to actually start. However, ...
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.