In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

You know you’re competing for a job, right?

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped only their 10th Spring Training game of the season, which isn’t headlined news. However, fifth starter candidate Drew Hutchison delivered a stinker of a performance. He allowed nine runs on 10 hits in just 3.2 innings of work. For a pitcher vying for a job, that’s a pretty sour note to end your Spring Training season.

We know the fifth starter’s job will go to either Hutchison, Tyler Glasnow or Trevor Williams and by results, Hutch is the least deserving. His Spring ERA is an absurd 10.02 and the results just haven’t been there. Many people cynically people believe the job will be his based purely on his contract but I hope they are wrong. I do not believe Hutchison is anywhere as bad as his performance yesterday. Few MLB pitchers are but as of right now he is not the best option for a team looking to rebound and compete for a playoff spot. It’s also important to note the team won’t really have a need for a fifth starter right away at the beginning of the season. So don’t expect to see Hutchison, Williams or Glasnow much for the first handful of regular season games.

Under the radar

Let’s flashback to Spring 2016 for a moment. At this time last year, people couldn’t stop talking about one man, Juan Nicasio. He came out of nowhere to look like a prime Sandy Koufax and made the team as a starter out of Spring Training. His dominance didn’t translate to the regular season as a starter but he rebounded nicely as a reliever as he finished with a 3.88ERA and a 3.03FIP coming out of the bullpen.

This Spring, not many are talking about Nicasio but he’s quietly been good. He has not allowed an earned run in eight innings of work and has struck out 14. The Pirates’ bullpen had a terrible start to the 2016 season but if Nicasio can continue his stellar work as a reliever, the bullpen could once again be an area of strength for the Pirates in 2017. He may not be stealing headlines but Nicasio is once again pitching very well in the Spring Training season. Let’s hope these results are sustainable.


If you haven’t already, please give the most recent episode of our newest radio show, Cannonballs a listen. For those unfamiliar, Cannonballs is our newest debate style show hosted by yours truly. It features Pirates Breakdown writers engaging in quick-hit style debates, where I judge their arguments and award them points. It’s best of three and the winner stays on for another week, while the loser gets shamed until my throat is sore.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates' 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.