Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 vs. 2017 Part 2: Pitching
2016: Francisco Liriano
2017: Jameson Taillon
Many things caused the Pirates to experience a 20-win drop off in 2016. Near the top of the list was the struggles of Francisco Liriano. After three years of stellar pitching, the lefty took a step back in his final season with the Bucs, and consequently, was shipped off to Toronto in exchange for the immortal Drew Hutchinson.
This time around, a man who did not head back north with the Pirates at the beginning of last season will look to become a perfect complement to Cole. That man is Jameson Taillon.
After years of anticipation, Taillon finally made his debut last June and had a successful rookie campaign. This season, JT will look to avoid a sophomore slump and only improve from his encouraging first year.
It’s rare that a Number Two starter is as awful as Liriano was for the four months that he was with the Bucs in 2016, and barring major injury, I don’t see how Taillon is not considerably better than that in 2017.
Taillon > Liriano