Remember at the start of the year when the Pirates had a lot of starting pitching depth? Kyle McPherson had just missed out on the fifth starter role. Phil Irwin had some impressive outings in Spring Training, and looked like he could also be an early season option. Everyone hoped that Gerrit Cole's demotion to Triple-A would only be a formality for a few weeks until he gained that extra year of control. Then there was the eventual return of Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, and/or Jeff Karstens before the start of June, which means the Pirates had eight starting options in April, and more coming in May. It looked like the Pirates didn't have to worry about starting pitching options. They only had to worry about the quality of those options.

Now we're just two weeks into the season and...

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