With the acquisition of Wandy Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is faced with the tough decision of who will be coming out of the Bucs rotation, beginning immediately.
I can’t see Hurdle exploring the option of a six-man rotation, so someone is going to have to go.
Rodriguez, along with A.J. Burnett and James McDonald are locks, leaving the choice down to Erik Bedard, Jeff Karstens and Kevin Correia. All three have pitched well of late, especially their last time through the rotation.
Here’s a look at their respective numbers post-All-Star break.
Bedard: 13.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 15 K, 6 BB (1-1)
Karstens: 14.0 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 7 K, 4 BB (1-0)
Correia: 17.0 IP, 16 H, 7 ER, 15 K, 3 BB (3-0)
As you can see, all three men are pitching very well, so Hurdle has a tough call to make.
I have to think Bedard is a lock to remain in the rotation. He looks like he’s found his effectiveness from early on in the season and it’s nice for the Bucs to have a second southpaw in the rotation.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Pirates are exploring trade options with both Karstens and Correia, which would make Hurdle’s decision an easy one, but if not , I’m giving Karstens a slight edge.
Karstens’ versatility could lead him right back to the bullpen though where he’s been effective in the past, but it’s hard to not reward him for the work he’s put in since 2011. The Pirates would probably be better off with Karstens in the pen, but I have a feeling he will remain in the rotation.
That’s no knock on Correia. I’m actually tired of people knocking him. The guy battles and is a productive right arm. He’s 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA on the season. That’s good production out of the No. 5 spot in the rotation. Not many teams in the majors can boast consistency out of their No. 5 starter.
The Pirates can and that’s a good problem to have.
However, as good as he’s been as of late, I have a feeling Correia is the odd-man out here. I’m far more comfortable with Karstens coming out of the pen, but I would expect Correia to be moved before his next start.
The Bucs won’t get much of a return for either Karstens or Correia, so I would expect a small deal involving a minor leaguer or a player to be named later.
One of these two will end up being moved either to the pen or to another team.
By a flip of the coin, it’s likely going to be Correia.