I just thought I’d throw this out there, because it does seem like the competition for jobs is resolving itself to some extent. This isn’t a prediction; in fact, I’m pretty confident the Pirates won’t make two of these calls.
I’m assuming here that Steve Brault won’t be able to start the season and that Trevor Cahill won’t be ready for a rotation slot right away. I’m also assuming they go with a 14-man staff. Note that, although the Bucs have five off-days in April, they’re oddly concentrated toward the end of the month. The team will need a fifth starter at least twice in the first two weeks.
Chase De Jong
Obviously, I’m sending Mitch Keller to AAA . . . well, to the alternate facility initially. The Pirates won’t do this, but they should consider it.
Having Anderson, Crowe and De Jong, none of whom excites me much, all in the rotation may seem . . . underwhelming. The truth is, though, they’re all going to get, and probably should get, shots at some point. That’s how rebuilding works. What difference does it make whether it’s early or later in the season?
Duane Underwood, Jr.
Chasen Shreve hasn’t impressed me much. I don’t see him as any better than Howard, and Howard is younger. Shreve will be a free agent if he stays on the roster all year, so he’ll probably be gone. Plus, Shreve can’t be optioned once they add him to the roster, so he’ll be a fixture at least for a while. That’ll hinder the plan to run a lot of arms through the ‘pen. Howard can be optioned. That would leave the team without a lefty reliever but, again, they’re rebuilding. Having a lefty shouldn’t be a concern on the same level as simply finding as many good pitchers as possible.