By Jared Lankes
The Pirates have had a revolving door with starting pitching all year. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, we’ve seen 11 different starting pitchers this season. 3/5 of the rotation out of spring training is now in the bullpen (Juan Nicasio, Jon Niese, and Jeff Locke). Francisco Liriano has been massively inconsistent as well. Gerrit Cole was hurt for a month, but he’s back and there’ll be no issues with him. Jameson Taillon has been good in his MLB career so far, which certainly has helped. However, the rest of the rotation has been a mess.
Also, the recent DL trip for Tyler Glasnow and a potential injury for Chad Kuhl as well has put this team in a bad situation where their already massive need for another starting pitcher has become even greater.
It’s already difficult to roll with three rookies in the rotation, even if those rookies are Taillon, Glasnow, and Kuhl. It gets even tougher when the job goes to Steven Brault, Trevor Williams, or Wilfredo Boscan. I’m not knocking those guys, but to trust them when a team is approaching a stretch run is a really tough spot to be in. This is especially so when the other options are Niese, Locke, or Nicasio, who were bumped for a reason, Justin Masterson, who has no business touching an MLB roster right now, and Ryan Vogelsong, who shouldn’t start regularly in the MLB. All this combined leads to the Pirates not being in a position where they “could use” another starter, but rather more to the point where they “need” another starting pitcher.
Between now and August 1, Neal Huntington needs to get a deal done for another reliable (reliable is the key word) starting pitcher. There are no excuses this time. This team cannot get by with what they have now. I’m sure Huntington is trying his hardest, but it’s time to get the deal done.