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Hope in Pittsburgh

Update [2007-5-23 10:3:32 by Eric Hz]: A nice article, if just a little backward-looking, about JVB and BBull. Here

When looking at potential starting pitchers, fantasy players consider whether or not the pitcher's team can score enough runs to make a W more likely. They should also consider the strength of the starting pitcher's bullpen in order to gauge whether or not a lead handed over in the 6th and 7th innings will remain so by game's end.

A team whose starting pitchers have been considered little more than sleepers at the end of the draft are the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is a perrenial losing squad and one whose line-up does not strike fear in anyone. However, that can quickly change.

With a rotation anchored by Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Tom Gorzelanny, and Paul Maholm and a bullpen with Salomon Torres and Matt Capps (at worst two quality middle innings guys), the Pirates have a pitching staff that is better than the deficient hitting would lead a fantays player to believe. With nary a walk taken, the Pirates will never come to the mass attention of the sabre-public in any ways but negative ones. That can quickly change if any of the three fallen prospects pitching at AAA can make a successful transition to major league mediocrity.

With a 5th, or 6th, or gods be praised! a 7th viable starting pitcher, the Pirates will be able to trade one of these newly-minted pieces of gold for the hitting necessary to rise to yearly competitiveness.

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP K BB
Brian Bullington 54.2 2.96 1.32 30 23
Sean Burnett 49.2 3.81 1.69 21 27
J. Van Benschoten 43.2 2.47 1.24 31 17

Do any of them light sabre fires? No. Will other major league teams remember them? Yes, all three were high round draft picks and that is what can help the Pirates sell them to the 29 other major league teams in their pursuit of two power bats.