The Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation is far from definite in 2012.
From Paul Maholms injury to his $9 million plus option to Charlie Morton’s hip and Kevin Correia’s suckiness, the Pirates rotation has some big questions.
One answer might be Chris Leroux. He has swing and miss stuff, which didn’t exist among the Pirates starting five outside of James McDonald on occassion.
We are obviously reading a lot into four innings of Dominican baseball, but what else is there to think about? Rudy Owens was thought to be playing winter ball, but now according to his twitter account he has driven across country to his home in Arizona.
So that leaves us with speculating about just who in the hell will be in the rotation for the Bucs in 2012. Maybe not so much who will be, because the combination of Correia and Morton is more petrifying than a night at the Scarehouse.
So we move our attention to Leroux because, well, heh, at least Leroux is healthy. And watching Leroux put away the Brewers in this video is fun as hell.
Seeing Chris Leroux as a starter in the Dominican eases my mind a bit. Leroux struckout six in his first start and walked the leadoff hitter in the first inning. Leroux got four swinging strikeouts and two looking on Monday. Strikeouts were consistent for Leroux in his career, the walks were always the difficulty for the 6’6″ Canadien.
There were some discussions near the end of the season about Leroux being moved to the rotation, but Pirates GM Neal Huntington rebuffed any talk by simply saying, we asked Leroux to get hitters out as a relief pitcher–‘and he has done that.’
So we can only speculate that being a starter for Dean Treanor and the Toros del Este is perhaps his next progression.
Or maybe it’s simply the Pirates looking for a fallback option that right now looks like a good one. So we will be keeping an eye on how Leroux does, it just might help his efforts to be a starter for the Bucs in 2012.
Leroux had an impressive 135ERA+ in his 25 innings in 2011. Given the state of the Pirates rotation as we sit here in October, having Leroux get some work as a starter might be a very good, and a very inexpensive idea.
A more detailed story from us on Leroux along with his gamelog from this season :