A big reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates were successful last season was due to their pitching staff, and more specifically, the depth of their staff. Every time a starting pitcher went down, someone was there to step in and keep the team afloat.
The depth in 2014 has also been strong, although the story isn't exactly the same for the guys that are being replaced. The Opening Day rotation included Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez, Charlie Morton and Edinson Volquez. The final two starters have been with the team all year. The first three starters have needed depth options to replace them at times. And none of those options have done that well.
Wandy Rodriguez was horrible in his time with the Pirates this year. Francisco Liriano has struggled, although his xFIP suggests he should be better going forward. The only guy with good numbers has been Gerrit Cole, although he's not looking like the ace he looked like at the end of last season.
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.