Jared Hughes To Start Year On DL
Jared Hughes will start the 2016 season on the 15 day disabled list with an issue in his lat according to General Manager Neal Huntington. The last two seasons Hughes has pitched in 139 games, 131.1 innings, with a 2.12 ERA, but more impressively a 1.81 ground ball/fly ball, 2.68 ground out/air out, and a double play percentage of 19. Hughes was a ground ball machine who was able to get out of jams. He was a big piece to the Pirates bullpen the last two years and his loss to start the season will be missed.
But Hughes injury opens the door for either right-handed reliever Trey Haley or right-handed reliever Rob Scahill. Scahill, in his first year with the Pirates last season, pitched in 28 games, 30.2 innings, with a 2.64 ERA, a 1.48 ground ball/fly ball, 2.19 ground out/air out, but a low double play percentage of 5 percent. Like Hughes, Scahill is a ground ball machine who can come in and get of jams by rolling up a ground ball, but he does have an option remaining. Trey Haley, a 25-year-old right hander, signed with the Pirates in January. He has never pitched above AAA, but this spring he has done well. In 7.2 innings, Haley has a 7.04 ERA, all runs came in one game, and a 1.29 ground out/air out. Haley can reach upper 90s and has a breaking ball. With Scahill and Haley already on the 40 man, they have the advantage of relievers such as Jorge Rondon, Curtis Partch, and AJ Schugal. I do not think that Lobstein will be in this conversation. For one he can start in AAA as a starter for depth. The second is that I think they will want to replace a ground ball pitcher with another. If the Pirates do decide to use Lobstein in the pen to start the year I think it will be him versus Caminero.
The loss of Hughes to open the season is a big one to start the season. He has been marvelous in the Shark Tank the last two years. However, the added depth by Neal Huntington, the Pirates should have a capable replacement until his return,
*Numbers via baseball-reference.com