The Pitching Needs to Improve, but It’s Also Not Quite as Bad as it Looks Right Now

9-26-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Before I really get into this too far, let me just start by saying, yes, you’re absolutely right, the pitching staff on this club is the worst aspect by far, and it needs to be the focus this offseason for improvement.

There, if you stuck with me I think we need to remind ourselves, much of what we’re watching right now is about not caring about the outcome anymore, the sincere belief that they’re protecting arms (debatable) and finally a weak top end of the pipeline.

Let’s first talk about what Spring Training will look like next season.

Bare minimum they come back with these options to start. Wil Crowe, Max Kranick, Mitch Keller, Miguel Yajure, Dillon Peters, Bryse Wilson, JT Brubaker and possibly Chase De Jong.

I didn’t even discuss Steven Brault or Chad Kuhl because I want to leave room that they might get dealt.

Now, that’s not great based on what we watched in 2021. That said, I think it’s fair to pin some of the short starts on a team philosophy coming out of COVID and the overall youth and inexperience of the pitchers to begin with.

So if we take a five man rotation made up of say Wilson, Keller, Yajure, Peters and Brubaker you’d certainly feel better than you do right this second right?

I think they’ll bring in at least one veteran, not unlike Anderson and you’ve got the makings of a much stronger unit than again what the season has devolved into.

Again, all I’m saying here is it’s not great, but it’s not quite where it appears as we sit here trying to watch this crippled race car creep across the finish line.

As it stands right now, you want to imagine there is a prospect close to ready beside Yajure, and that would be Contreras but if you really care about the guy, he isn’t an option for this shiz show, and Cody Bolton also injured all year will need some AAA time next season. Next year Osvaldo Bito will probably get a look and some thought too.

That’s it, because the ugly truth about this rebuild is the bats are leaps and bounds ahead of the arms. Those are all scheduled to be in Altoona and below next year and it’s way too early to worry about them being a factor, not yet.

The bullpen, as we sit is a mitigated disaster. Chris Stratton, Chad Kuhl, Chasen Shreve, Shelby Miller, Anthony Banda, Sam Howard, Nick Mears, Kyle Keller, Cody Ponce, Enyel De Los Santos, and Luis Oviedo.

If you told me I had a 3 run lead and I could choose from any of those to make it happen, I’d struggle.

Now of course we’re missing David Bednar, but he’s also the best far and away. They’ve also lost Duane Underwood Jr. and Blake Cederlind.

So, next season Shea Spitzbarth, Hunter Stratton, Joe Jacques and Yerry De Los Santos probably have a shot at helping, but they’ll need to go get more.

Point is, this isn’t as bad as it looks, but it ain’t good either. They have room and need to go get some help.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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