May 10, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke (49) wipes his face in the dugout after pitching in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. The Pirates won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Cy Yuck – Jeff Locke
For as good as the starting staff for the Pittsburgh Pirates has been so far this year, the battle for the fifth starter position has left much to be desired. Charlie Morton has recently returned to the rotation and had a tremendous outing in his first start of the season and will take the spot of Vance Worley on the starting staff. But Jeff Locke still remains, and he leaves many Pirate fans yearning for another option at the back-end of the staff. If Worley is included, Locke ranks last on the starting staff in ERA at 4.70 and in WAR at -0.4, second to last in WHIP at 1.45 and K/9 at 7.32, and second in walks with 20. He’s given up at least three runs in four out of the five starts he’s made in May and has thrown at least 96 pitchers in each of those starts.
The only reason Locke remains on the staff is, essentially, because he’s not Worley. He’s also a lefty and the coaching staff seems to give Locke enough rope to collapse every season. Luckily, the Pirates have plenty of depth options and/or prospects in order to make a trade for a starting pitcher later in the season that Locke won’t last much longer unless he improves.
Runner-Up – Vance Worley
This was a tough decision to make. Worley and Locke have both done everything in their power to deserve the enviable Cy Yuck. However, Worley has a lower ERA than Locke this year, and I’m a results guy. I feel that Worley deserved a longer chance to try to replicate what he did last season, or at least to have been given more time on the staff to try to come close to that. His FIP of 3.70 is also lower than Locke’s 3.99. However, a case can be made for either pitcher. Worley lasted less than six innings in each of his last three starts, and that takes a toll on the bullpen.
Antonio Bastardo was also considered, but his small sample size of 11 innings and his success in the past gave him a little breathing room here.
Let’s continue the poor play and move to the Least Valuable Player Award, and address a player who thought he had his job secure entering the season, but has found out that he may need to start playing better, and soon, in order to keep that starting gig.
Next: Have Mercy...