These Pittsburgh Pirates hurlers must start 30 games or more

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As well as the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation held it together, the dirty little secret of that rotation was that only one pitcher started 30 or more games.  And that pitcher, Edinson Volquez, has left town.  Francisco Liriano came close, with 29.  There is a disturbing trend brewing in this regard, as seen by the fact that, even prior to 2014, the Pirates have only had four starters start 30+ games during the Clint Hurdle era, spanning 2011 through 2013.   Of those, A.J. Burnett had done it twice, James McDonald did it once, and Jeff Locke surprisingly had 30 starts in his up-and-down 2013.

The 30-game threshold for pitchers is nothing new, and has been used as a benchmark to measure a pitcher’s worth for years.  30 games signifies durability and dependability in today’s game.

In this article I will be highlighting the pitchers that I think MUST start at least 30 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015.  The factors that I have used to determine my list are all of the usual pitcher measuring sticks:  ERA, WHIP, etc.  But I will also look at some underlying metrics that may surprise you, leading to a surprising inclusion on this list.

Let’s get started with the obvious choice.

Next: Our first choice brings the sizzle, now he needs to bring the steak