Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pirates: Joe Blanton
Cubs: Trevor Cahill
Joe Blanton has been absolutely outstanding since he was picked up by the Pirates right before the trade deadline. Since he joined the Pirates he’s pitched to 1.57ERA/2.11FIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine. If it wasn’t for J.A. Happ, Blanton would probably be the biggest pitching surprise of the deadline. He’s been a fantastic long man for the Buccos and can even be an effective single inning guy if need be.
Trevor Cahill is similar to Blanton in a lot of ways. He’s an ex-starter that wasn’t great with his previous team, but a change of scenery did wonders for him. In his 11 games with the Cubs he’s got a 2.11ERA/3.13FIP and 11.6 strikeouts per nine. Cahill has been an effective big league starter with Oakland and Arizona before going to Atlanta and it looked like his career was completely stalled. Since he’s been in Chicago, he’s been an effective weapon for Joe Maddon out of the bullpen when needed.
Verdict: I am going to give this one to the Pirates mostly because Joe Blanton has double the innings that Cahill has. He has the better ERA and FIP, which to me says that Blanton has been more effective in his role. However, I don’t think either Blanton or Cahill will play much of a part in the NL Wildcard Game, but that’s the beauty of October, you never know who the hero is going to be.
Next: Middle Relief