By: Caleb Luketic
Baseball is all about pitching. If you do not have solid pitching, you will not be a perennial contender. Offense can and will only get you so far, so you need to find as much pitching as possible.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have some of the best pitching in the National League, but they have a slight problem. The Pirates actually have too much pitching, but can you ever have too much pitching? The Pirates have one of the best problems; they have too many solid pitchers who are good enough to pitch at the big league level. The Pirates have a couple competitions that you need to keep an eye on because it will affect your fantasy team for sure.
The Pirates have a pitching duel going on for the 5th starter position and for the final bullpen spot. Vance Worley and Jeff Locke are the two pitchers going for that final starting spot in the Pirates’ rotation.
As of now, Worley has the edge because of his consistency. Worley’s good days and bad days aren’t too far away from each other. However, Jeff Locke’s good and bad days have a much more distinct difference. When Locke is having a good day, he is unhittable and has potential to go the distance, but Worley is much more steady. Worley will end up winning the final starting job because of his steady consistency.
John Holdzkom and Arquimedes Caminero are battling to inherit that final spot on the pitching staff. Both players have a similar pitching style, which is what is creating this competition.
The Pirates could easily keep both of these players, but they will not because of how similar their styles are. So far in spring training Holdzkom has pitched 3 innings allowing one hit, no walks, and 4 whiffs. Caminero has pitched 4 innings allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. They are both putting up a fight for that final spot, and the Pirates haven’t made any indications of who will get that final spot. However, I think that the Pirates will end up keeping Caminero if he continues to pitch how he is pitching because he doesn’t have minor league options but Holdzkom does. The Pirates don’t want to get rid of either of these players, so they will do whatever they can to keep them both in the Pirates organization.
The Pirates bullpen is filled with talented arms. As of now the Pirates bullpen will most likely look like this: Mark Melancon, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, Antonio Bastardo, Radhames Liz, Holdzkom/Caminero, and Worley/Locke.
The two relievers that you have to have on your fantasy team are Mark “The Shark” Melancon and Tony Watson. These two are two of the best relievers in all of baseball. Watson will be the setup man for Melancon, so these two pitchers will be a great one, two punch. You also need to make sure you have Vance Worley on your team because he is extremely consistent. Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano are the top two pitchers on the Pirates staff, and these two need to be on your draft board.