Three Reasons For Optimism Entering The Offseason

Sep 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (left) talks with outfielder Matt Joyce (right) during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (left) talks with outfielder Matt Joyce (right) during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) in action against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) in action against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon at the top of the starting rotation

Despite an injury filled 2016 season, Gerrit Cole is still one of the best starting pitchers in the National League. He was in the top five in the Major League in both ERA and FIP before getting injured in early August after all. And in 2017 he will have a great number two starting pitcher behind him.

This starting pitcher is Jameson Taillon. In 104 innings pitched in 2016 Taillon averaged 7.36 K/9, an incredible 1.47 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and he owned a WHIP of 1.12. Due to all of this he had a 3.38 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, and a 1.7 WAR in 2016.

Cole has already proven he is one of the best starting pitchers in the National League, and Taillon started to do the same in 2016. Moving forward, this bodes well for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Especially since Cole should have a much better 2017, assuming he is healthy, and Jameson Taillon should just continue to improve.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon should give the Pittsburgh Pirates one of the best 1-2 punches of any starting rotation in the National League in 2017. Chad Kuhl will slot in as a solid back of the rotation starting pitcher as well. Due to these three pitchers, the Pirates will just need to add one or two starting pitchers this offseason to have a strong starting rotation.