Pirates able to rebuild the rotation, bullpen after beginning jug buying and selling, reliefs

After absorbing the comings and goings of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers last week, it took her braintrust a day to discuss what the launch rotation and bullpen would look like in the future.

The Pirates shook up their pitching staff by swapping left-handed starter Tyler Anderson (Seattle) and rescuers Clay Holmes (New York Yankees), Austin Davis (Boston) and Richard Rodriguez (Atlanta).

They got at least one major league starter in return, right-handed Bryse Wilson, but have internal reinforcements along the way. The Pirates recalled Max Kranick and Cody Ponce of Triple-A Indianapolis earlier this week and Mitch Keller on Friday, adding three right-handers to a rotation with JT Brubaker, Wil Crowe and Chad Kuhl.

Brubaker is scheduled to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night, but coach Derek Shelton left the starter open on Sunday. The pirates need to figure out when to deploy Keller, which was supposed to start for Indianapolis on Friday but threw the bullpen. Wilson, who threw three innings against the New York Mets on Monday, is expected to arrive on Saturday and be activated for the 26-man roster.

“As for the starts and how many and where they are, there will of course be some guys who will continue to start in the Major League,” said Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington. “We have to get through the weekend, see where we are, evaluate and reset. There are guys that we definitely want to have starting roles, be it in Indy or in Pittsburgh. We could have guys starting in both places. ”

While the Bullpen took a hit by losing a reliable closer, David Bednar, who is from Mars, is the best bet to replace Rodriguez. Since Bednar of San Diego was acquired in the Joe Musgrove business, he has made “further strides”.

“He started playing early this year,” Shelton said, “and has really cemented and cemented himself into a back-end role.”

The pirates could take a committee approach, but there are no clear candidates. That doesn’t seem to worry Shelton or Cherington, who believe they have a number of potential high leverage remedies.

“We’ll talk about it,” Shelton said. “I think we have a couple of guys who could serve at the end of the game, but it’s something we’ll probably be working through for the next day or two.”

Shelton has said he plans to use a six-man rotation to reduce workload and prevent long-term staff injuries, especially after telling Chase De Jong through left knee surgery at the end of the season and Trevor Cahill for the foreseeable future has lost foot to a breach of the law.

The good news is that left-handed Steven Brault might be ready to get back into rotation soon, and right-handed Miguel Yajure couldn’t be far behind. As the Pirates’ Pitcher of the Year last season when he threw the team’s only full game, Brault could give the Pirates a big boost.

“This is just another guy who can throw well for us,” said Kuhl. “Of course he’ll take us to the clubhouse, so we’re eagerly awaiting his return, not just on the pitch, but off the pitch as well.”

The pirates did not talk about closing anyone down for innings or pitch counts so that could create competition to start jobs. That certainly motivated Crowe, who put up six goalless innings in a 7-0 win over the Phillies on Friday night and allowed only one goal. Crowe was acquired by Washington in the Josh Bell business last December and is trying to prove he belongs on the rotation.

“Every time you play in the big leagues is a great opportunity for everyone,” said Crowe. “It’s a way to present yourself and your personality and your things. For a team like us, there are a lot of great players and a lot of opportunities. You must take the bull by the horns and do what you can with what you are given. That’s all I try, week after week. ”

Kevin Gorman is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Kevin by email at kgorman@triblive.com or on Twitter.

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