Pittsburgh Pirates Starters Struggle, Relievers Shine, Even Lead MLB In Important Category


The Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the worst performing starting rotations in Major League Baseball.   The starters are getting hit, often, and rank 19th.  The starters have walked 31 batters, which is worst in MLB.   The WHIP is 26th worst in all  of baseball.

With the injuries that have already hit, and with what lies ahead, it’s hard to see the Pirates starting rotation improving greatly in the short term.  The move today they made in sending Bryan Morris back to Triple-A is a direct result of the success of their bullpen.

The starters have hung the bullpen out to dry, and last night Morris picked up the slack.  Unfortunately, with the overuse of the bullpen, the team needed to send Morris back to AAA  though he showed the ability to retire one of the best hitting teams in the NL.

The “next man up” mentality is a good one.  We hate seeing Morris sent back to Triple-A, but the Bucs are using their Indianapolis roster as an extension of their Major League roster.  It’s smart.  It sucks for Morris, but the Pirates starters have basically been a disappointment.  Sure, we saw solid work from specific starters, but innings eaten hasn’t been one of those abilities.

The Pittsburgh Pirates relievers have been rather impressive.  They have held the opposition to a .173 average, tops in the league.   The relief corps is also putting up some nice numbers and are in the top ten of bullpens in Major League Baseball.  The bullpen, led by Jason Grilli, have allowed few hits or earned runs while piling up some strikeouts.

It’s hard to imagine the bullpen lasting deep into the season at this rate. The worrisome thing for us is that it’s difficult to see the rotation becoming transformed into one that goes deep into games.  We ask you this: With the current construction of the rotation – and in looking at the pitchers that are close to returning – do you see a workhorse who will go deep into games?

We don’t.

Get used to the concept of using Triple-A Indy as an extension of the MLB roster.  It will happen often in 2013.

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