Pittsburgh Pirates Election Day: Who are the Top Players So Far?
Starter and Reliever of the Year
The starter who is making a strong push for the fall award is Ivan Nova. Gerrit Cole has been solid, and Jameson Taillon had a fantastic start to the year, but Nova has been Mr. Reliable. Nova has not missed a beat his successful final two months last season. He continues to pound the strike zone, get quick outs, and pitch effectively deep into games. This is all the while holding opposing teams off the board, but also receiving little run support. On the year Nova has a 3-3 record with an ERA of 2.48, which ranks third in the league. In addition to strong numbers, Nova also had a complete game shutout against the Miami Marlins. If Nova continues his strong start, he will not only be a candidate for Pittsburgh Pirates starter of the year, but also in the CY Young conversation.
Felipe Rivero has been hands down the best reliever on the Pittsburgh Pirates and in the league. Rivero was brought over last summer from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Mark Melancon. Since then, Rivero has proven to be absolutely dominant for the Bucs. Meanwhile, Melancon has moved on to San Francisco for a huge contract, and the Nationals bullpen has fallen to pieces. All Rivero has done this season is pitch to a 0.87 ERA. He has not done it quietly either. Rivero is consistently throwing in the high 90s, has a hard slider, and an incredible changeup. In just 20.2 innings he has accumulated a 0.7 WAR. Rivero looks like he is on the verge of being one of the most dangerous lefties in baseball.