Bullpen - David Bednar, Aroldis Chapman, Colin Holderman, Dauri Moreta, Carmen Mlodzinski, Ryan Borucki, Jose Hernandez, Bailey Falter
The bullpen should be the strength of the Pirates this season.
Closer, 9th inning guy, high-leverage arm, whatever you want to call him David Bednar is one of the best in baseball. So is long-time rival and foe Aroldis Chapman who the Pirates have signed to pair with Bednar.
2023 saw righties Colin Holderman, Dauri Moreta, and Carmen Mlodzinski all started to break onto the scene as above-average MLB relievers. If each of those three even repeat what they did last season, especially if one or two can take another step forward, the Pirate bullpen quickly starts to become one of the best in the National League.
Speaking of 2023 breakouts, there may not have been a more unpredictable breakout for the Pirates last season than left-handed reliever Ryan Borucki. Even if Borucki slightly regresses from last season, he'd still be a very good MLB reliever.
The starting rotation may struggle to give the bullpen a lot of leads, but any lead the bullpen is handed should be in good hands. It's not hard to envision the Pirates putting themselves in a position to play a lot of 6 or 7 inning games with this bullpen core.
Rounding out the bullpen in this projection are lefties Jose Hernandez and Bailey Falter. Hernandez joined the Pirates as a Rule 5 Draft selection last season and flasehd a lot more good than bad. He clearly hit a rookie wall that hurt his overall numbers, but Hernandez should be a strong middle/long relief pitcher for the Pirates this season.
As for Falter, he was acquired from the Phillies last July. He is a pitcher that Ben Cherington had pursued for some time and he is out of minor league options. Being out of options, look for Falter to crack the Opening Day roster. As of now, we project it to be as the team's long reliever, which is a role he pitched extremely well in last season.