In the final installment of my three-part series, I will take a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates interesting bullpen.
1. Matt Capps, RP: The ever reliable, hard throwing Capps will be the center of this bullpen. With any luck the Pirates give Capps enough opportunities to work for his saves. With his personality and passion to win, he will being stability to a young pen.
2. Damaso Marte, LP: Also a reliable set-up man, Marte and Capps are the real only two proven members of the pen going into the season. With Marte’s ability put away left handed hitters, he may become trade bait by July.
3. John Grabow, LP: Hopefully after minor offseason elbow surgery, Grabow will be the strong reliever of a few years ago. By the second half of last season, Grabow began to feel the pain in his throwing elbow that allowed for shaky appearances. Let’s hope that he can bounce back this season.
4. Tyler Yates, RP: Just acquired from Atlanta at the end of spring training, Yates beings veterans feel to a young bullpen.
5. Franquelis Osoria, RP: Beginning the season for the first time in the majors, Osoria proved at the end of last season that he can be counted on to pitch not only out of the bullpen, but he can also make sport starts. This means that Osoria will most likely be brought in as the most reliable long-relief guy in the pen.
6. Phil Dumatrait, LP: Not much can really be said about him. He’s only played six games in the majors; however, he has a killer slider. Only time will tell how he will fare with the Pirates.
7. Evan Meek, RP: The last guy to win a spot on the roster, Meek was the Pirates Rule 5 Draft pick this winter. Since the Pirates have to keep him on the team all season, or release him, Meek better hope that he proves himself, and quickly. Sean Burnett could easily be called upon to take his place after he ended spring with an ERA of 0.96
25 men later, I hope this rundown of the guys who will make up the 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates has been helpful. With any luck, this core group of young guys will finally snap the streak at 15 consecutive losing seasons.