Pirates’ starting rotation strong as any in the National League

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Mar 9, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher

Gerrit Cole

(45) throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The argument has been made countless times this spring that the starting rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates isn’t going to be good enough to take the team to the next level.  My question to the people who have put that thought out there is this: Just what is missing?

My answer is that unfortunately most people view the Pirates rotation and don’t see any big name, high-priced starting pitchers and automatically write them off as not being good enough to win the National League Central.

For example, the Cardinals have Adam Wainwright, the Giants have Madison Bumgarner and the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, so naturally that makes all of those rotations stronger than the Pirates’ staff.

Give me a break.

That argument is nothing more than worthless, surface level analysis that not only is lazy but is totally ridiculous.  Introducing the ‘eye-ball’ test to evaluating starting rotations without actually comparing numbers and measuring the intangibles involved is not an effective way to build an argument, but unfortunately is just the type of coverage Pirate fans have become accustomed to from the local media.

The fact is to anyone who knows anything about the sport, the Pirates have just as strong a starting rotation as anyone in the NL Central and I’m about to explain why.  The initial reaction to that is disbelief because the Pirates don’t strut a big name ace like the other competition but let’s dive a little deeper and really analyze the other teams we’re competing against in the NL and then let’s talk.