The Pittsburgh Pirates have used 11 different starting pitchers this year.
For your entertainment, I will now try to name all of them without looking it up: A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Jonathan Sanchez, Francisco Liriano, Phil Irwin, Brandon Cumpton, Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, Jeanmar Gomez, James McDonald and Gerrit Cole.
I lied, by the way, I had to cheat on a few of them.
Anyway, let’s get back on track, shall we? The Pirates have recalled Cumpton to make a start tonight. He has already made two starts with the Pirates this season, with a 3.60 ERA and without recording a decision in either start. To take a deeper look at what he can do, we’ll look at what he has done in Triple-A in 2013 for a bigger sample size.
In 11 games started with Triple-A Indianapolis, Cumpton is 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA. His 7.04 K/9 and 3.07 BB/9 doesn’t impress me, but his 0.51 HR/9 does.
To make room for the right-hander on the 25-man roster, the Pirates had to option infielder Josh Harrison back to Triple-A.
Good riddance. Harrison isn’t very good; in 15 plate appearances in 2013, he has a .154/.214/.154 slash line. In 2012, Harrison hit for a .233/.279/.345 slash line in 276 plate appearances with a very bad 3.6 percent walk rate. To sum up Harrison’s game, he doesn’t hit well, he doesn’t walk, he has very little power and his defense is well below average.
I can think of a bunch of other minor league players in the Pirates’ system that would help the MLB club more than Harrison, but that can be discussed on a different day.
Cumpton will make his start tonight against the Jonathan Pettibone and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates are riding a nine-game winning streak and are 21 games above .500 at 51-30, the best record in MLB.