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The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to have some very tough decisions in shaping their 2018 starting rotation.

In yesterday’s 12-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, Chad Kuhl was masterful, with eight strikeouts across seven innings while scattering just four hits against a powerful Cubs lineup.

Perhaps his performance was in response to Trevor Williams‘ seven inning outing against the Reds the day prior. Williams struck out five while allowing eight hits.

It has been burgeoning for some time, but the performance of these two pitchers has pushed the story to the front pages. As it stands now, the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation should have eight viable candidates for five spots.

Though many still hold onto the belief that Kuhl is best served as a bullpen arm, that logic takes a ding with each solid start from the second-year Delaware product. Williams has shown more than enough to solidify himself as a bona-fide major league pitcher.

Nick Kingham will be out of options after this season, and Tyler Glasnow will be heard from at some point. Then there is the curious case of Steven Brault, who the organization has said will be working out of the bullpen almost exclusively, but will be getting a spot start during September.

Pittsburgh Pirates fans should be very excited at the thought of what their club’s starting rotation can potentially look like next season.

The forgotten prospect?

Pittsburgh Pirates INF Max Moroff had a day to remember yesterday, going 3-for-5 with four RBI, including a riverwalk solo-shot.

It was easily Moroff’s best day as a pro, and perhaps it reminded many of why Moroff was named the team’s minor league player of the year in 2015. Moroff is an interesting case for those who follow the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect crop closely. While he has endeavored to learn multiple positions, is a competent defender and has pop, he also finds Kevin Newman, Kevin Kramer and Cole Tucker hot on his heels, the latter two having taken great strides this year.

Moroff may end up as a stopgap or a bench piece. But he is — at the very least — starting to show that he belongs at the major league level.

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Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)
  • David McCloud

    I am about 2/3 finished with
    The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports by Jeff Passan…..The Pirates in general have emptied their young prospects onto the Big club. I for one see the staff and its depth as a strength that can either be used in case of injury or to be used as trade bait…..I am hoping that they manage this asset properly. What a good problem to have.

  • redrage97

    Cole, Taillion, Nova, Williams, Kuhl. Glasnow, Kingham, Brault… you can count with one finger how many lefties are an option for the rotation.

    There really is only one pretty much for sure pen arm next year in Rivero… okay hudson but really…

    Just like last off season Pitching is their weak point. A quality Pen arm or Two along with a reasonable starter option, perhaps one looking to rebuild some value after a down season? I don’t remember who looks to be available this off season.