Who will claim the final spots in the Pirates' starting rotation?

The Pirates regular season is less than a week away, but who should secure the team's final two rotation spots?

Jared Jones taking the mound against the Twins
Jared Jones taking the mound against the Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates' 25-man roster is shaping up. Mitch Keller, Martin Perez, and Marco Gonzales have pretty much solidified their spots in the starting rotation. Derek Shelton also announced that Roansy Conteras will open the season in the bullpen.

That leaves two open spots in the rotation. The question is: Who should get the final two spots? Jared Jones, Quinn Priester, Luis Ortiz, and Bailey Falter are the primary candidates to secure those two spots.

In my opinion, two of these pitchers have stood out, and I believe that they should get the last two starting rotation spots. The first is Jared Jones. Jones is currently the number three overall prospect in the Pirates' farm system, and rightfully so. The youngster is coming off a solid 2023 campaign where he pitched 126.1 innings and posted a 3.85 ERA in 26 appearances for both AA and AAA.

Jones has had a terrific spring training for the Buccos so far. Jones has pitched 11.1 innings over a five-game span and has yet to give up a run. Jones also has 10 strikeouts and has posted a WHIP of 0.79. This should be enough to lock him into the starting rotation and, if not, he should be one more good outing away from securing a spot.

The final spot in the rotation, in my opinion, should go to Ortiz. Last season, Ortiz made 18 appearances for the Pirates, in which he posted a 4.78 ERA over 86.2 innings of work. He also had 59 strikeouts and had a WHIP of 1.70 over that span. Ortiz has shown some promise this spring and has shown that he has the potential to be a bounce-back candidate for the Pirates in 2024.

So far this spring, Ortiz has appeared in four games, in which he has posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 12 innings of work, striking out 15. The promising spring might just be enough for him to land a rotation spot.

With just under a week to go in Spring Training, the Pirates are faced with several tough decisions on their final roster.

With multiple spots in the starting rotation still up for grabs, it's going to be an interesting week for Pirates baseball, so stay tuned.