September 5, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia (29) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pirates starter Kevin Correia goes out in style


Tuesday night at PNC Park, starting pitcher Kevin Correia likely made his final start in a Pirates uniform, and he finished his career as a Bucco in a similar fashion to the way he started it: with a professional’s day’s work.

October 2, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia (29) receives congratulations in the dugout after pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

It’s been a bumpy ride for Correia in a Pirates uniform, but the guy took the ball every fifth day and often gave his team a chance to win a ballgame, which is all you could really ask of him.

Two years ago, Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington gave Correia the first multi-year deal for a Pirates pitcher since the organization signed Pete Schourek to a two-year deal way back in 1998.

During the past two seasons, Correia wasn’t always a fan favorite and often was the fans whipping boy, but he likely finished his Pirates career with a winning record of 24-22. Sure, he usually couldn’t go more than six innings and his 4.49 ERA was a bit high, but he was reliable and often turned in a solid day’s work, which is all you can ask from a bottom of the rotation starter.

Correia likely won’t be re-signed considering he requested a trade when he was removed from the rotation after the Wandy Rodriguez trade, something I said back then was a mistake by manager Clint Hurdle. I’d much rather see Correia back then have to rely on a guy like Jeff Karstens for an entire season.

That reason is as simple as you know what you are going to get from Correia for a full season and you don’t from a guy like Karstens, whose performances are as up and down as a roller coaster ride.

During the Pirates most recent collapse, one of the few bright spots was the performance of Correia once he was put back into the rotation.

But the reality of the situation is that fifth starters are replaceable and youngsters like Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson appear ready to land a spot in the 2013 rotation, so the Pirates won’t think twice about re-signing Correia, who will certainly be looking for a job in another team’s rotation.

However as his Pirates career winds down, fans should remember Correia as a true professional who just took the ball every fifth day and battled.

At the end of the day, you really couldn’t have asked much more from him.

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