Pittsburgh Pirates: These Three Pitchers Can Not Start 2024 in the Starting Rotation

Ben Cherington needs to be busy adding starting pitching help this offseason

Sep 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Andre Jackson (41) pitches
Sep 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Andre Jackson (41) pitches / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Andre Jackson

After joining the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, Andre Jackson initially turned heads. At first, it looked like the Pirates may have found a real diamond in the rough with Jackson. However, by the end of the season Jackson was showing why he had never been a full-time starting pitcher in his career.

Jackson made his Pirate debut on August 5th. In the month of August, Jackson pitched 24.2 innings in 6 appearances, 3 of which were starts. In these 24.2 innings pitched, Jackson posted a 2.92 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 7.2% walk rate, and a 27.8% strikeout rate while limiting opposing batters to a .191 batting average.

This strong start for Jackson led to some people wondering if he could be an option for the starting rotation in 2024. Well, his performance in September debunked this. Jackson pitched in 6 games in September with 4 being starts. In these 6 outings, Jackson posted a 6.16 ERA and a 5.89 FIP in 19.0 innings pitched. His walk rate rose to 14.8% while his strikeout rate dropped to 17.3%.

This is not to say Jackson can't be an effective pitcher in the majors. In 13.2 relief innings pitched with the Pirates last season Jackson posted a 3.41 ERA. To be honest, Jackson could work out pretty well as a long reliever/swing-man in the majors but he should NOT start the season in the Pirate starting rotation.