Predicting The Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day Roster

Mar 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (13) prior to the spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (13) prior to the spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The starting five 

Gerrit Cole will pitch Opening Day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In game two, Clint Hurdle will hand the ball to Jameson Taillon. Chad Kuhl will pitch the series finale in Boston, and then Ivan Nova will pitch the home opener next Friday.

This leaves one spot up for grabs in the Pirate starting rotation. The battle for this spot is a two-man race between Trevor Williams and Tyler Glasnow.

Tyler Glasnow has the higher ceiling of the two. In fact, as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, there is no limit to Glasnow’s ceiling. However, the question remains, can he throw quality strikes enough to be in the Major Leagues?

While he is a much less ballyhooed prospect, he is a fine prospect in his own right. Additionally, Trevor Williams had a great spring for the Pirates.

So, who will the Bucs go with?

Make no mistake about it, the Pirate brass wants Tyler Glasnow to take this final rotation spot and never look back. He has flashed a lot of good things this spring, however, he has also flashed major control issues at times. Due to this, the Pirates must ask if more time at Triple-A to work on repeating his delivery would benefit Glasnow.

Ultimately, I expect Trevor Williams to open the season as the Pirates’ fifth starting pitcher. Personally, I would go with Glasnow but I believe the Pirates will roll with Williams.

Trevor Williams has the ability to be a strong backend of the rotation starting pitcher in the Major Leagues. Combine this with a strong spring and Tyler Glasnow still having some control issues, and I expect Williams to be the final arm in the rotation on Monday.