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

It is a weird time of the season for Pittsburgh Pirates fans.

With no postseason on the horizon, and with the club showing no inclinations towards being the type of team that can surge late, the Pirates are now faced with a sizable number of decisions and auditions.

The Decisions

  • Should the Pittsburgh Pirates employ a full on shutdown in their starting pitching staff? Neal Huntington intimated in his radio show last week that spot starts or perhaps a six-man rotation would be the club’s preferred action. However, isn’t that a half measure? What exactly have Ivan Nova and Jameson Taillon showed over the past month-plus that suggests that they would not benefit from a full-on unplugging? Perhaps Nova’s next start after a one-game break will be telling.
  • Should a full on shut down for one or both occur, where will the team put its priorities? Would Tyler Glasnow or Steven Brault be the de facto “sixth starter,” or will the team like to get an early look at Nick Kingham, who is out of options after this year?
  • As far as everyday regulars, the team does not have much wiggle room, but will have to make a decision on how to split time with Gregory Polanco and Adam Frazier set to return from the Disabled List. A productive last weeks to the season could be downright therapeutic for Polanco in particular.

The Auditions

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates will also be holding open tryouts of sorts in their bullpen. George Kontos is an intriguing, controllable late-inning option. Clint Hurdle has already intimated that he will be auditioning for a 2018 late-inning role. Ditto for Dovydas Neverauskas. The team will likely need to make a decision on A.J. Schugel‘s future, and, assuming there will be some degree of change to their 2018 starting rotation, Chad Kuhl must have a spot. The club would love to find a taker for Daniel Hudson, even if they had to eat a bit of his $5.5 million 2018 salary.
  • The bottom line is that the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen will likely look much different than how it looks today.

Baseball Talk on the Web

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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, 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)