3 Bold Predictions for the Pirates and Their Prospects
Over the last few days we have heard a lot of people making “bold predictions” about the Pirate’s upcoming season. We have heard things from the Pirates missing the playoffs, to them winning the World Series. We also see people making predictions about players such as Nicasio winnings 15 games or Andrew McCutchen winning the MVP again. However, we have not heard a lot of predictions about the minor league prospects and how they will affect the Pirates this year.
Jameson Taillon will throw more innings out of the bullpen than as a starter for the Pirates this year. Jameson Taillon has not thrown consistently in two full season now. He is coming off Tommy-John in 2014 and a sports hernia last year. The fact is that the Pirates will want to log as many starts as possible in AAA to get his development back on track. Baring any unforeseen events Glasnow will get the call in June. This will leave Taillon to continue to develop in AAA. The trade deadline will come right after the June call ups, giving the Pirates the ability to bring in another starting pitcher if need be. This then will allow them to wait to call up Taillon more toward the end of the season. If they do call him up, they will use him to help reinforce the bullpen, which is always taxed by the end of the year. This will allow the Pirates to reduce Taillon’s innings as they will be watching that closer than usual being it is his first year back. Also, this will allow them to potentially have another effective, power arm to help the club towards the playoff push, while still exposing JT to the big league level finally. I am not saying Taillon will not start in the MLB this year as you never know if they will need him to spot start. I just believe that the Pirates will want to keep JT’s innings down and will do so by using him in the bullpen when need be.
Trevor Williams will be the first pitching prospect to be called up. Trevor Williams was picked up from the Florida Marlins for a reason. The Pirates asked for compensation for Jim Benedict, and that is who the front office decided
to pick up. The Bucs gave Williams a late spring start and I believe there was a reason, they wanted to see how he fared against a legitimate big league lineup in the Orioles. He ended up throwing pretty well, he gave up two homers in the first innings, but did not give up another run the rest of the way. He punched out 5 in 5 innings. A few years ago the Pirates utilized Brandon Cumpton as their prospect spot starter. They would call him up and send him down as needed. I believe that Williams will serve this role for the Pirates this year through the first two months.
Josh Bell will get called up the last weekend in June into the first week of July. The Pirates are on the road for back to back series against the Mariners and the Athletics. This one is short and sweet. Many are waiting to see the impact that Josh Bell can bring to this lineup. The Pirate’s first road series against an AL team make sense. That will be the perfect time to call up Josh Bell and give him a chance to make an impression. The Pirates will have an opportunity to play him at first base or DH him during that series. Unless John Jaso and Michael Morse are completely flopping at first base, I do not think we will see Bell before this series.
There are many other prospects who could make the big leagues this year, but when thinking of interesting predictions these came to mind. We all know/expect to see Glasnow in June and we do not really care about seeing Alen Hanson until we have too (meaning that there are injuries again in the infield). However these three were points of interest for me that I truly believe will happen the way I have laid them out. We are in for a great year and will need these three guys above to help out at some point and in some way.