Well, unfortunately it looks like Wandy Rodriguez is hurt too badly to be able to go in his next scheduled start on Sunday, which is terrible news for the Pirates, as it should be a fun game, wrapping up a three game set at home with the Reds. Obviously we’d like to see the Pirates win every game, but weekend games against the Reds (even games in April) feel extra meaningful, thanks to some decent rivalry games that happened last summer between the teams (apparently when the Pirates play like a relevant team, other teams tend to dislike them more, who would’ve known?). As mentioned here, Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson are the lead options to make the start in Wandy’s place on Sunday, and there’s nothing wrong with that, both should be serviceable options.
While we should have a reasonable set of options for Sunday, there might be other pitching rotation problems as well. Jonathan Sanchez got absolutely shelled by the Diamondbacks in his last start (3.1 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 4 BB), so there could be some concern about his rotation spot. While I’d expect Sanchez to at least be given one or two more outings to fix things, the major issue right now is wondering whether he’ll just repeat the type of abysmal seasons he’s had the last couple of years. Because of this problem with Sanchez, and potential extended time that could be missed by Wandy Rodriguez (who may have to head to the DL, meaning there would be a necessity for multiple spot starts), the Pirates are going to have to look over all their options in the rotation again in the next few weeks. The good news is there’s a glut of mediocre arms available right now. The bad news is the glut of arms is nothing but mediocre (except Cole and Taillon, who need more seasoning and won’t be considered).
If Rodriguez is in fact DL bound, my course of action would be to give “audition starts” to Wilson, McPherson, and Phil Irwin, because why not? It’s April. While all 162 games count, we also have to keep in mind that there are 162 games in the season. That’s certainly no shortage of opportunities to work things out, and make a run at the playoffs(which should be the Pirates goal every year, and looking more attainable than it has in a long time), while getting a decent look at your young talent as well. Hopefully we’ll get more news on Wandy soon, and hopefully he can come back to pitch without missing much time, but while he’s out, we might as well get a look at the guys we have available right now.