With 2020 being a season about building for the future and the bullpen struggling, the Pittsburgh Pirates should promote their top relief prospect to the MLB level
Set backs happen to everyone in life. For Blake Cederlind, the top relief pitching prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, experienced one of these set backs last month. This set back is when he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Due to this, he missed all of summer camp at PNC Park. However, Cederlind has since joined the players in the team’s 60-man player pool that are not active in Altoona. Had he not contracted the virus, there is a good shot that Cederlind would have been on the team’s Opening Day roster.
Now that Cederlind has recovered from the virus and is back to work in Altoona, it is time for him to join the Pirates’ bullpen. In fact, the sooner Cederlind joins the bullpen the better for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 2020 season should be about the future for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This season should be about the team trying to determine who is and is not part of their future moving forward. This is just one reason why Cederlind should be added to the bullpen.
Another reason that Cederlind should join the bullpen is because the Pirate ‘pen needs all the help it can get.
Entering the season it was no secret that the bullpen could be a major problem for the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far, it has been just that. Nick Burdi, JT Brubaker and Geoff Hartlieb have pitched well for the Pirates. Clay Holmes also pitched well in his lone outing, but he is now on the injured list. Otherwise, it has been a you-know-what show.
Entering play on Saturday night, the other eight relievers the Pirates have used this season have combined to pitch 17.1 innings/ In these 17.1 innings of work they have allowed 21 runs, 16 earned, on 21 hits, 14 walks, and 19 strikeouts. That is a woeful 8.31 ERA, and it does not factor in the struggles the Pirate bullpen has had attempting to strand runners.
Injuries have also started to pile up in the Pirate ‘pen. The aforementioned Holmes, as well as Kyle Crick are both currently on the injured list. Michael Feliz then exited Saturday night’s loss with some sort of injury.
With the Pirate bullpen struggling, it would not be difficult to find a reliever to remove from the roster to make room for Cederlind. With a 100+ MPH fastball with a lot of sink and a slider, Cederlind has the tools to be a top notch relief pitcher. Mix in 2020 needing to be about the future, and it is time for Cederlind to join the Pirate bullpen.