Pirates Should Sign Braden Looper

John CiganikContributor IApril 25, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 5: Braden Looper #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium August 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff is in a state of emergency. Three out of Charlie Morton's four outings have lasted 3.1 innings or less. Ross Ohlendorf is on the disabled list. Daniel McCutchen was demoted. In essence, the Bucs are dealing with a two man rotation and an extremely overworked bullpen. Is relief in sight?

While not spectacular, Braden Looper is an option that the Pirates should explore. From 2007 to 2009, Looper averaged 189 innings pitched per season and won 38 games over the same period. Looper's primary weakness is the longball, but his ability to eat innings and win games makes him a valuable commodity.

The Pirates are in desperate need of a starting pitcher that can work past the fifth and sixth inning while winning games from time to time. Looper fits the profile, and could serve as solid trade bait come July.