Help Wanted: Fifth Starter for Pittsburgh Pirates
By Tom Smith
By all accounts the job will pay quite well. Several candidates have been given a crack at this job,
Maholm. 9IP 4K 1.00ERA (3 starts)
Duke 9.2IP 1.86ERA (3 starts)
Snell Puerto Rico Starter in WBC (1 start for PBC 2IP 3K, 2BB, 0ERA)
Ohlendorf 5.1IP 6K 1.69ERA (1 start and will pitch against Yankees today)
Other favorites heading into camp don’t seem to be interested yet:
Karstens. 6.2IP 6.75ERA (0 starts)
Gorzy 6IP 7.50ERA (3 starts)
McCutchen just awful today 11.37ERA after 5ER today (0 starts)
Barthmaier 4.1IP 18.69ERA (2 starts)
So perhaps a Vasquez can grab this spot? Bootcheck (long shot, but 10K over 8IP mainly late, did have that one ”start”)
With 24 days left in camp, many jobs are up for grabs. More than I have seen in recent history. Many non-roster players are having a ”summer” that is opening eyes. But in my opinion no job is as important as a spot in the Pirates rotation. I believe if Vasquez can get ahead early, show some command and K a few batters in his next start he would move into the forerunner spot. Who else is there?
A noticeable difference this year is how many young pitchers just pop off the stats sheet with a 0.00 ERA. They are Hansen 9K in 7IP; Meek 8IP, 6K; Yates 6IP, 3K, 3BB; and Capps 5IP, 5K, 3BB.
The next few weeks are going to be exciting to watch. I have had a great time watching the first few.
The Pirates return to McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., today for a 1:05 tussle with the Yankees. In addition to Ohlendorf, Denny Bautista, Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett, Jesse Chavez, Craig Hansen and Donnie Veal are also scheduled to make an appearance