Rum Bunter’s 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates Staff Preview: Jack

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates, Kyle Crick
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Weakest Position Group – Bullpen

This bullpen has the potential to be an absolute debacle, so let’s start with the few positives. Nick Burdi has the stuff to be a top-of-the-line high leverage reliever in the majors. Michael Feliz pieced together a respectable season after struggling through much of the first half of 2019. Robbie Erlin has a strong career as a reliever and should be a reliable option for long relief and lefty specialist situations.

Beyond those three, there is potential for disaster. Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez, once reliable, even good relievers, got hit hard last year and have shown little sign of improvement in this year’s pre-season games. Most alarming is Crick’s lack of velocity, throwing his fastball around 92 MPH in Saturday’s exhibition with the Indians.

Rounding out the bullpen are largely unknown/unproven commodities in the likes of Clay Holmes, Dovydas Neverauskas, Chris Stratton, and Miguel Del Pozo. Holmes and Neverauskas have power stuff but have been unable to find any success at the MLB level.

Get well soon, Keone Kela. Please.