As the Pittsburgh Pirates get ready to head into the 2014 regular season, it appears they should have the same dogfight on their hands that they had last season. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds are both going to be good coming back and the Pirates are ready for that with the team they have coming back as well.
One area of question for the is the starting rotation which is in limbo a little bit because of the uncertainty of what A.J. Burnett will do. They have addressed the possible hole in their starting five with a move or two with a minor name they hope would come through big for them. Also they have the hopes that Jameson Taillon might come through soon and take a place right beside Gerrit Cole.
There is another name that is easily forgotten in this game of who would fill out the starting rotation though and that name is Brandon Cumpton. Cumpton might not be the same type of top of the line prospect that Cole and Taillon have always been but he has something that should matter much more than that; a very successful debut in MLB.
Last year Cumpton bounced back and forth a little bit but overall the time he spent with the Pirates was awesome. He appeared in 6 games, with 5 of them coming as a starter and finished with a 2.05 ERA over the span. The good news about that ERA is that it got better each time he saw MLB hitters.
He finished the season in September, during a pennant race remember, with a 15 inning scoreless streak. That streak wasn’t just against any team; those innings came against the Cardinals and two games against the Reds. The game versus the Cards was a seven inning performance where he gave up zero runs and only three hits. A young pitcher that can shut down the two teams the Pirates will likely fight all season long should definitely get a long look in Spring Training.