Who is the one guy you can count on when he steps on the mound? Paul Maholm? Kevin Correia? Please don’t give me James McDonald.
The answer is nobody. Maholm is probably the most consistent pitcher the Pirates will put on the mound this season but that isn’t saying much. Correia was 10-10 on a team that plays in one of the biggest ballparks in the MLB and was contending for a playoff spot. McDonald has potential, but only had a limited number of starts in the rotation last season so who knows where he will go in year two. Ross Ohlendorf won his arbitration case in the off-season, but hasn’t shown he deserves it. Charlie Morton was horrendous last season, but probably has been the best pitcher this spring.
Let’s just say that this rotation will be average. Who is the guy you can count on in the bullpen? Evan Meek was great in the first half last season but struggled a bit down the stretch. Joel Hanrahan was wild throughout his career but rectified it last season. Who’s to say he won’t be back to his normal ways? Chris Resop’s fastball is so straight I think I could hit it if I swung quick enough.
How long before the Pirates are so far under .500 that it will be laughable? Will fans be thinking of Anthony Rendon in May?
I believe that Clint Hurdle will help the buccos out in the win column this year. I believe that the core will be solid enough to win a dozen or more games than a year ago. But, pitching is how you win games and the Pirates have nobody who has proven capable.
Could Morton finally prove he can last more than four innings in a game? Could Correia be a more reliable starter in a rotation that is in search of consistency? Could McDonald be a sold number three or four starter? More than that? Could Maholm finally prove he is a first round talent?
There are so many questions that will need to be answered, and soon they will.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.