Bullpen depth and rotation depth are two things baseball people say a team can never have enough of. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the best overall pitching staff in MLB, could use more depth. Not just average depth, but quality depth.
Now that the Pirates closer, Jason Grilli, has been sidelined for anywhere between four-to-eight weeks, the rest of the bullpen has been forced to step into roles that they haven’t been in all season. Mark Melancon has been named closer, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson have been placed as set-up men and Vin Mazzaro is pitching a lot in the seventh inning recently.
I like all of those guys, and I think Melancon is probably a better closing option than Grilli to begin with; but I don’t like Morris and Wilson being used in the eighth inning. They simply don’t have enough experience for me to be comfortable using them in high-leverage situations.
San Diego Padres reliever Luke Gregerson has been a subject of many trade rumors recently. The Pirates haven’t been rumored to be involved in any talks with the Padres concerning Gregerson, but I’m sure they have made a few calls about him. It would be a great move for the Pirates to trade for Gregerson to put him in the eighth inning role. In 42.1 innings in 2013, Gregerson has a 2.98 ERA and a very low 1.91 BB/9. He has a devastating slider that is his main pitch, and he has a track record of being an effective reliever. His career ERA is just 2.93 and he owns a career 9.06 K/9. I’m not sure how much it would take to acquire the reliever, but the price shouldn’t be extremely high considering he is just a bullpen pitcher.