Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: Pitching amongst 2018 question marks

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

There are plenty of questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 2017 season gone and in the rear-view mirror.

Will Andrew McCutchen be traded this offseason? Will Jung Ho Kang make an impact for the Pirates next season? Will any top prospects such as Mitch Keller or Austin Meadows debut in 2018?

The list goes on and on.

Another of the big question marks surrounds who may have a chance to open up the 2018 season in the Pirates starting rotation.

While Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova may be certainties in the rotation, a number of young arms will be fighting for spots as well.

With the season he had in 2017 and the improvements he made with every passing start, Trevor Williams may have a leg up on the competition for a starting spot. Guys like Tyler Glasnow, and Steven Brault will have to prove themselves worthy of rotation spots while Chad Kuhl will have to prove he is capable of keeping his spot after going 8-11 with a 4.35 ERA in 31 starts last season.

Who knows, maybe guys like Clay Holmes and Nick Kingham will surprise some people and try to make a run for a rotation spot. It’s incredibly unlikely, but crazier things have happened in the game of baseball.

Not to mention the Pirates could go out and get another starter either via free agency or by trade.

Again, this seems unlikely as well, but it’s possible.

Though there are many uncertainties when it comes to the Pirates starting rotation and even the bullpen, the possibilities are intriguing. It will be interesting to follow this topic throughout the offseason along with the handful of others we will be discussing here at PBD.

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Jose Negron

Jose Negron is a 22 year old journalist from the North Huntingdon area. A recent graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Jose has written for Rumbunter and Pirates Breakdown for the past year. He is the former Editor in Chief and Sports Editor of Cal U's campus newspaper, the Cal Times. He also covers high school sports for the Mon Valley Independent and serves as a contributor for Pittsburgh Sporting News, covering the Pirates. During the summer of 2015, he also interned with TribLive Radio, writing for their online blog, helping in the production of various radio shows and even appearing on the air.
  • redrage97

    prediction: Kingham will be in the rotation to start the season. (baring injury) Even more so if he is out of options and doesn’t get a 4th. He had a strong year in AAA.. not lights out but strong and he was able to deal with the workload there fairly well. If he isnt’ on the 25man out of spring and has a 4th option expect him in june/july.

    Brault put up some strong innings down the road and glasnow will be given another opportunity to start in spring. Kuhl also did pretty well.

    IMO Taillion, Cole, Nova (in that order) with Kingham, Williams, Kuhl and brault battling for four/five with Glasnow having an out side chance. That might seem like a poor rotation given last year.. but Nova has always had ups and downs… Cole when semi-consistant is one of the best, Taillion before cancer treatment was very dominate, Williams and Kuhl where both above average the last couple months. Brault had a couple stinkers but was pretty good in September. I expect kingham to be a mid rotation guy sooner than later.