The Pittsburgh Pirates have a surplus of bullpen arms. You knew this time would come didn’t you? A team that has consistently put together a solid bullpen, would one day have to make some challenging decisions as Opening Day approaches.
The Pirates bullpen did a lot of heavy lifing last season, especially early in the year when close games were plentiful. The bullpen, commonly referred to as The Shark Tank, battled through losing closer Jason Grilli to an injury in 2013. Because the depth was so talented, the Bucs didn’t miss a bit.
So the Buccos Shark Tank has a few too many arms. What a great problem to have.
Bryan Morris would certainly seem like the odd man out, but he came alive against Tampa Bay this week. Neal Huntington, the Bucs GM, threw around the word electric after the excellent outing against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Bryan Morris? Electric? That Twitter-expletive-fail-whale-enducing reliever that was relied on so much more often than Clint Hurdle should have last year? Electric?
Surely that means Morris is on the block, right?
Perhaps Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays wants Morris? The Rays skipper seemed impressed after the lone remaining Pirates asset left from the Jason Bay trade shut down his talented Rays lineup for two innings.
If Huntington could get a return for Morris that could possibly help the Pirates, we would be thrilled. A low level, high ceiling prospect would be just fine in our book. Hell even if a trade could be made for a new PNC Park scoreboard and a wif-fi update before Opening Day would sound like a good trade to me.
Morris is a good pitcher, so is Vin Mazzaro for that matter. But it’s not like the Pirates haven’t been able to fill in the bullpen with capable replacements. Hell, some of the under-the-radar options in camp look just fine which is a kudos to the Pirates scouting department.
Beyond the recognizable names, the Pirates also have some other quality talent looking to contribute out of the tank. The new arm slot lefty Daniel Schlereth has went five innings and given up zero runs. Southpaw Adam Wilk, freshly rescued from Korean baseball, has pitched seven strong innings and allowed only one run. Also Jay Jackson has pitched well over eight innings of work.
Neal Huntington has excelled at putting together a solid bullpen. 2014 will be no different.
In concluding this series, the Pirates are putting together a powerful lineup backed by solid pitching and defense. A calvary of young talent is also still growing and maturing in the minors, some of them just a phone call away from improving the 25-man roster. It’s also a rather explosive, but cost controlled roster with numerous questions, but a lot more answers than Pirates fans have been accustomed to over the years.
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