At the beginning of the baseball season no one was drafting Pirate Starting Pitchers. Then as the season progressed and the Pirates were contenders, largely in part to their young staff, fantasy managers started picking them up off waivers. Your truly was a big proponent on Charlie Morton in particular. Their staff had above average ERAs, low WHIP, and collected Wins and Ks. The entire Pirate starting rotation is 30 years old or younger and has never had such success. Unfortunately I am here to pop the proverbial bubble and expose why they collapse from here forward.
I was watching the Cubs at the Pirates game today and after watching Correia give up 8 earned and 10 hits in 2 plus innings I wanted to research the past innings pitched for this young staff. What I found was not encouraging. Nearly all of their staff has pitched more innings this year than for the entire season last year. Young arms with numerous inning lead to dead arms, lost velocity, and getting crushed late in the season. Here is the breakdown of their staff with innings pitched to date and innings pitched all of last year.
Kevin Correia 135 IP this year 145 last year
Paul Maholm 145 IP this year 185 last year
James McDonald 115 IP this year 64 last year
Charlie Morton 112 IP this year 79 last year
Jeff Karstens 127 IP this year 122 last year
It is generally accepted that young pitcher being over worked will show the fatigue and this staff could be the prime example of this happening. It was fun for baseball and fantasy owners to have the Pirates in contention through July, but the reality is about to set in and the Pirates will start to fade quickly.
So what should the fantasy managers due who own these young arms? Kevin Correia 45% owned, Paul Maholm 18% owned, James McDonald 12 % owned, Charlie Morton 16% owned, and Jeff Karstens 61% owned all should be let go unless the Pirates can go to a 6 man rotation with bringing back Ross Ohlendorf after his most recent rehab sting in Indianapolis. If the Pirates realize they are taxing their young arms and go with the 6 man rotation I will keep Morton, if not he gets cut by the weekend and you should follow suit or pay the consequences.
Arggh you scurvy knave