Latest Pirates Buzz

Insider Only Latest Pirates Buzz: Pirates pitching staff built to last this season?

Under GM Neal Huntington, the Pirates have not had much luck with signing or trading for 30 something veterans who appear on the downside of their careers.
They are often failed experiments and money wasted but starter A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.60 ERA) is bucking that trend, at least so far through two months of the season.
Burnett allowed just two hits over seven innings and the Pirates (25-25) defeated the first place Cincinnati Reds (28-22) 2-1 on Wednesday night, moving to 25-25 at the 50 game mark and improving to 15-13 in the month of May.
Burnett improving to 4-2 on the season, has made an immediate impact in moving back to the National League. Burnett has allowed 0 earned runs in three of eight starts and has allowed 2 earned runs or less in seven of eight starts.
In the Pirates 2-1 win tonight, Burnett escaping early trouble, then cruised to a dominant night, allowing 0 earned runs and striking out three and walking two. Burnett threw 103 pitches, 65 for strikes and retired 17 batters at one point in the game.
Huntington’s gamble on acquiring Burnett is paying huge dividends thus far and unlike last year, fans should be more confident this year in the Pirates rotation not falling apart like it did in the second half of last season when the rotation as a whole was playing over their head during the Pirates surprising run from April through July.
Huntington deserves credit for the building of the rotation through trades and signings with a top of the rotation in Burnett, James McDonald (4-2, 2.20 ERA) and Erik Bedard (3-5, 3.60 ERA), in addition to Major League ready depth in Indianapolis that could be beneficial on the trade front if the Pirates stay competitive or for the immediate future if Kevin Correia and Charlie Morton continue to falter.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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