How The Pittsburgh Pirates Should Handle Their Pitching Today
This afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates will play a make up game against the Colorado Rockies after yesterday’s game was rained out.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have already announced that Ryan Vogelsong will make the start today. So far this season, Vogelsong has really struggled for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 19 2/3 innings pitched Vogelsong has a 4.12 ERA, 5.30 FIP, 4.85 xFIP, and a -0.3 WAR. Furthermore, Vogelsong is averaging 4.58 BB/9 and 1.37 HR/9.
In my opinion, Ryan Vogelsong is no longer a Major League quality pitcher and he has no business being on the roster. For this reason, I would have him on a very short leash this afternoon. The player I would be looking to when Vogelsong gets into trouble is Wilfredo Boscan.
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Wilfredo Boscan just made his Major League debut this past Thursday and pitched well for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In two innings pitched Boscan allowed one hit, zero walks, zero runs, and he struck out two batters.
If Boscan had not just pitched two inning three days ago he is who I would start this afternoon. However, you want to try to get at least five innings out of your starter and, while it is unlikely he does so, Ryan Vogelsong has the potential to do that and Wilfredo Boscan does not simply due to lack of rest. This came on the heels of Boscan posting a 2.48 ERA and a 3.05 FIP in 40 innings pitched at AAA this season.
If I were Clint Hurdle and the Pirates, I would be happy to get three innings out of Ryan Vogelsong tomorrow. At that point I would go to Wilfredo Boscan for three innings, and look to piggy back the two. In theory, this gets you through six innings and at that point you can look to your top four relievers (Jared Hughes, Neftali Feliz, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon) to carry you through the rest of the game.
The fact that Francisco Liriano is starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night also factors in here. Minus two bad starts Liriano has been his usual reliable self this season. Due to this, you would expect Liriano to give the Pirates six or seven innings on Tuesday night allowing the bullpen to rest after having to cover an entire game on Monday afternoon.
This rain out came at the worst possible time for the Pirates. Their top three pitching prospects Chad Kuhl, Jameson Taillon, and Tyler Glasnow pitched the last three days for AAA Indianapolis. Therefor, none of them are eligible to be called up to pitch today.
When you combine those three having started the last three days for AAA with Wilfredo Boscan having pitched multiple innings on Thursday night for the Pirates, the Bucs literally have no options other than Ryan Vogelsong to start the game today. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Vogelsong does not appear to have any gas left in the tank and him having to start a game is never good.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing a make up game on Monday afternoon that they did not expect to play. Furthermore, due to a perfect storm of events the very underwhelming Ryan Vogelsong will have to start for the Pirates in this game. Due to this, I would look to piggyback Ryan Vogelsong and Wilfredo Boscan on Monday afternoon.