Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 vs. 2017 Part 2: Pitching

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mar 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) walks back to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Number Two

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