With Opening Day now less than a week away, what could the bullpen look like for the Pittsburgh Pirates when they head to Cincinnati on March 30th?
The bullpen was always going to be a question for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the beginning of the 2023 season. Outside of David Bednar, it's a group filled with unproven arms, as well as arms that have struggled for much of their MLB career. However, injuries this spring have complicated things even further.
Lefty Jarlín García and righty Robert Stephenson were both expected to be memebrs of the Opening Day bullpen, with both potentially playing large roles. Well, both are slated to start the season on the injured list. García is battling a forearm issue that will likely cost him a significant amount of time, while Stephenson is recovering from elbow inflammation that will cost him at least the first two or three weeks of the regular season.
So, with Opening Day now less than a week away, what could the Opening Day bullpen look like for the Pittsburgh Pirates? Odds are, six of the eight spots are locked up leaving two spots still up in the air.
Now, things could change a bit if they decide to take Johan Oviedo for the final rotation spot bumping veteran Vince Velasquez to the bullpen. While this should happen, as of now, it appears that it will not with Oviedo starting at Triple-A.
But before this turns into a rant about how dumb that will be, let's dive into the latest Opening Day bullpen prediction.