Sports Magazine

BUCN Perfect : Pirates Pitching: Who's Going to Be the Odd Man Out?

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
AJ Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Jeff Locke, Francisco Liriano, and Jeanmar Gomez: 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitching rotation.
~Gomez begins his rehab assignment today in AAA Indy. Rodriguez is currently on the 15 day DL. Both are having forearm issues.
So the looming question is: When all these guys are healthy, who’s going to make the cut to start, and who’s gonna go to the Shark Tank? I played a little “ask the expert bloggers” today again with @jdunio and @campbellsproul to get their thoughts. Not as funny as last time because I wanted real answers and opinions this time.
Justin and Campbell’s predictions were pretty much in line with my thinking. If Gerrit Cole continues to do well, Morton will go to the bullpen, along with Gomez. If things with Cole don’t pan out, he’ll most likely go back to Indy. Rodriguez deserves his starting spot. We think the Pirates are moving towards a starting rotation of Burnett, Locke, Cole, Rodriguez, and Liriano. Campbell says Gomez isn’t a long term solution. Justin said its good that we have options, presumably in case of injuries.
Hurdle was quoted in the Trib saying, “Thursday is the only start he’s guaranteed,” in regards to Charlie Morton. It’s been one year since his Tommy John surgery. Justin and Campbell are optimistic about Morton’s start tonight. They think we’re going to see a Charlie Morton circa 2011. Campbell thinks he’s full of potential and Justin says “pound them with the sinker.” Justin is predicting 5 innings, 4ER, 3K, 86 pitches.
Campbell said, “Locke, Cole, and hopefully Taillon will be the cornerstones over the next few years.” I really, really like what Locke has been doing out there. You can see the effects of shadowing AJ in his pitching. With his 5-1 record, he’s struck out 55 batters and pitched into the 7th inning twice. He had one outing of only 4 innings. His control is amazing, considering how out of control AJ can get. AJ, although a little crazy at times, seems to be a great mentor and someone the Pirates should keep around even after retirement. We saw Tuesday what Cole is capable of doing. Fingers crosses Taillon can fit in there with them.
What do you guys think? Agree or disagree with our predictions?

**In other news, Campbell and I are both huge #FreeJordy believers. If you watched last night’s game you’ll see why he should be playing instead of Barmes. Barmes is almost at Ryan Braun level of hatred in my book. Campbell is working on a #FreeJordy article over at Rumbunter so stay tuned for that. If they don’t get rid of Barmes I’m going to start picketing outside PNC Park after work LOL

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