Rum Bunter’s 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates Staff Predictions: Stephen Strosko

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 27: Keone Kela #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 27: Keone Kela #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Best Position Group – Bullpen

Even with the turmoil and unfortunate events that transpired at the end of 2019, the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen remains extremely formidable. Keone Kela, Richard Rodriguez and Kyle Crick are all extremely solid arms that have posted recent seasons of sub-2.50 ERAs. All three of these pitchers have the ability to close games and perform at an elite level. In fact, drama free seasons from Kela and Crick would potentially lead to all-star level performances (sadly there is no All-Star Game this year).

Outside of the above three arms, the Pirates have a few relievers with massive upside. Nick Burdi has an insane spin rate on his slider and has flashed the ability to be an elite reliever. With a shot at a healthy season, Burdi will be throwing his hat in the ring of relievers competing for the job of closer in 2021.

Michael Feliz and Clay Holmes may not have the upside of Burdi, but both of these pitchers could put together solid seasons as back of the bullpen arms. Feliz had a solid half season with the Pirates last year posting a 3.99 ERA. No one doubts his ability to strike his batters out, but his control issues have always haunted him. Holmes falls into a similar category as Feliz, but has been burdened by even larger control issues.

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