Pittsburgh Pirates Mail Bag Monday: 5/23

Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Every Monday here at RumBunter we will be featuring “Pittsburgh Pirates Mail Bag Mondays”.  We will answer 3 questions that we find intriguing sent to us on twitter.  If we do not answer your question do not take it personal as we may use it for the next edition.

“When Taillon and either Glasnow or Kuhl gets called up in 2 weeks, Nicasio goes to the bullpen, but who else joins him? What 7 will be our bullpen after that?”– @SamHenzler

Jeff Locke would be the likely choice. Locke’s 5.00 ERA can be somewhat misleading, as his ERA is 3.64 when subtracting out the San Diego game, a game that featured soft contact, infield singles, and a play David Freese probably should’ve made. But despite pitching well, especially for a back of the rotation starter, his stuff plays better than Jon Niese’s does out of the pen. For his career, Locke’s fourseam has sat 92.32 mph in the first, his sinker 92.31 mph in the first, and his change 82.14 mph.

His fourseam and sinker have averaged the highest velocity in the first inning and his change-up the second highest outside of the ninth inning, which is a small sample. A look at this year shows that trend as well, his fourseam at 92.35 mph and sinker at 92.95 mph are the top average velocity of any inning, and his change-up at 83.46 mph is the fourth, or right in the middle, of any inning. He comes out of the gate throwing his hardest, and in a short spurt it may even see an increase.

Furthermore, in his career, opponents in their first plate appearance in the game (with Locke as a starter) are hitting .250/.333/.360, with those numbers jumping to .271/.334/.412 in their second plate appearances, and those numbers keep getting worse quickly as opponents get more plate appearances. Locke, because of his stuff and numbers, would be the most logical option to go the pen, leaving Niese in the rotation. At the point in which Kuhl or Glasnow gets the call up, the bullpen will have the looks of Arquimedes Caminero, Jeff Locke (L), Juan Nicasio, Jared Hughes, Neftali Feliz, Tony Watson (L), and Mark Melancon. – David Slusser

Next: Date for Taillon and Glasnow Arrival