Pittsburgh Pirates: Counting on Healthy Returns to Provide Crucial Depth

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking ahead to 2024 with cautious optimism after enduring a difficult and injury-plagued 2023 season. Several key players ended up missing significant time on the 60-day injured list (IL), leaving gaping holes on the roster. However, if this group can return healthy next season, they could make a major impact and provide invaluable depth to help the Pirates take a step forward.

Pirates fans unfortunately know all too well how damaging injuries can be to the team's success. Just when it seemed the Pirates were ready to start turning the corner, the injury bug struck again in 2023. But this time, the players sidelined have the talent to change the team's outlook if they can make it back on the field.

Pitchers like JT Brubaker and reliever Angel Perdomo and exciting young hitters like Oneil Cruz and Tucupita Marcano are all on the comeback trail. These four currently take up coveted spots on the Pirates' 40-man roster despite combining for minimal production in 2023. The Pirates seem willing to exercise continued patience in hopes that their patience will ultimately be rewarded.

With better health in 2024, this group could provide the kind of impactful depth that has been lacking in recent seasons for the Pirates. Their development and production, if able to stay on the field, could make all the difference as Pittsburgh strives to get back to contending status in the NL Central.