Last year it looked like the Pittsburgh Pirates would have a rotation full of prospects. Brad Lincoln was expected to start the year in Triple-A, while the "Altoona Four" of Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Jeff Locke were expected to make the jump to the next level.
Only two of the Altoona pitchers made that jump, with Owens and Wilson getting the call, while Morris and Locke returned to Double-A to get more work at the level. The Pirates also added Brian Burres and Sean Gallagher to the Indianapolis rotation, providing immediate depth should the major league team have needed an extra pitcher early in the season. The Pirates never needed that depth. The only pitcher to go down early in the season was Ross Ohlendorf, and he was replaced by Jeff Karstens.
A year later, we ...
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