By Zach Morrison @Zach_Morrison1 on May 17, 2014
Based on their record, the Pittsburgh Pirates are far from a perfect baseball team. At 17-24, the Pirates have plenty of options to improve their roster, both internally and externally. The only question is are they willing to make the moves in order to get better?
Other than Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton, the Pirates' rotation is murky. Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez have struggled this season, and Brandon Cumpton looks ready to step in. In 43.1 MLB innings between 2013 and 2014, Cumpton has a 2.70 ERA and a 2.69 FIP.
He isn't ready to pick up the full workload of a starting pitcher at the MLB level yet, but when he is, the Pirates shouldn't hesitate to promote Vance Worley. He has had success before, with a career 3.86 FIP, and in 13 innings in 2014 he has a 2.08 ERA and a 2.85 FIP. Replacing Rodriguez and Volquez with Cumpton and Worley would make the Pirates' rotation better.
If you haven't heard of this guy by now, you need to wake up. Gregory Polanco is this year's most anticipated prospect among baseball fans. Jose Tabata and Travis Snider haven't gotten the job done in right field, and Polanco has a .380/.446/.608 line at Triple-A. The sooner he gets called up, the better off the Pirates will be.
The Pirates have gotten better production from shortstop lately, with Jordy Mercer heating up, but relying on Mercer to be good all season isn't wise. If the Pirates can trade for Didi Gregorius or Nick Franklin, they shouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.
It sounds obvious, but the Pirates need to get everyone healthy. Jason Grilli, Stolmy Pimentel, Russell Martin and Starling Marte have all missed time due to injuries in May; getting them all back on the field would be a huge boost for the team.
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