Spots Opening Up In The Bullpen

At the start of the off-season, the bullpen looked pretty crowded.  The Pittsburgh Pirates had locks in Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, and Jeff Karstens.  They added Joe Beimel and Jose Veras, and almost immediately proclaimed that each reliever would make the majors, despite their non-roster invitee status.  The final spot was seen as a battle between out-of-options relievers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio, and the loser of the...

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2011 Altoona Curve Preview: Bullpen

Today we wrap up the 2011 Altoona Curve preview with a look at the bullpen.  So far we’ve covered the infielders, outfielders, and the starting pitchers.  As I mentioned in last week’s preview of the Indianapolis bullpen, a minor league bullpen isn’t overly important.  That’s especially true the lower you go in the minors.  Most bullpen guys in the lower levels aren’t likely to reach the majors, and if...

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2011 Indianapolis Indians Preview: Bullpen

Today we wrap up the 2011 Indianapolis Indians preview with a look at the bullpen.  So far we’ve covered the infielders, outfielders, and the starting pitchers.  A few of the players from the starting pitching preview will eventually factor in to the bullpen as well.  Overall, the bullpen isn’t that important.  Even when players have success, it doesn’t guarantee success in the majors.  Last year the Pirates had...

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2011 Spring Training Battles: Bullpen

Yesterday I reviewed the battle for the fifth starter spot, noting that I saw it as a battle between Charlie Morton and Scott Olsen.  As reader “BLZR” pointed out in the comments, that’s pretty much the approach the Pirates will be taking this Spring, according to pitching coach Ray Searage.  My guess is that the loser of the battle between Morton and Olsen will take one of the open bullpen spots.  But what about the...

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Pirates Notebook: I Love the Bullpen

If there’s one thing I like about the 7-5 start to the season, it’s the bullpen.  I’m very comfortable with this bullpen when the Pirates are holding a lead, or when they’re trying to stay in the game.  That wasn’t exactly the case in years past.  There was Matt Capps bombing last year.  There have been guys like Tyler Yates and Denny Bautista blowing up in the middle innings. One of...

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