Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates had question marks at the back of their rotation heading into the season. They had Jeff Locke, who came with the normal questions that a rookie would have. They also had Jonathan Sanchez in the fifth spot in the rotation, after the lefty signed a minor league deal in the off-season. That doesn't include the questions wondering which James McDonald would show up in 2013 -- the first half version from 2012 or the second half version?
This year the Pirates have questions marks in the back of the rotation. Edinson Volquez is a bounce back candidate, while there are questions on how Wandy Rodriguez will return from his injury. If Rodriguez can return healthy, and pitch like he did with the Pirates before his injury, that will be a huge boost to the 2014 rotation.
Rodriguez took a big step today in answering that question, pitching one inning in his 2014 Spring Training debut. After the game he said his forearm feels good.
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.