Update: 8/17/14 at 12:30 pm – Pirates announce that Charlie Morton is headed to the disabled list. Gerrit Cole will take his place in the rotation.
Gerrit Cole is set to come off the DL this week. The Pirates have a big decision to make. Whose spot in the rotation should Cole take? Charlie Morton has struggled as of late and many fans would like to see him bounced from the rotation. I’m not sure it is wise to bump a guy from the rotation simply because he has strung together a few bad starts. Every starter in the rotation (with the exception of Vance Worley) has had a poor 5 game stretch this season. Every starter has also put together a very good 5 game stretch. Here are the best and worst 5 game stretches for each starter ranked by ERA:
Best 5 Game Stretch For Each Starting Pitcher
|Vance Worley||7/22 – 8/13||1.62||3.28|
|Francisco Liriano||7/18 – 8/9||1.69||2.41|
|Edinson Volquez||6/23 – 7/21||2.02||3.49|
|Charlie Morton||5/6 – 5/28||2.25||3.88|
|Jeff Locke||6/19 – 7/11||2.27||3.35|
Worst 5 Game Stretch For Each Starting Pitcher
|Vance Worley||6/21 – 7/13||4.23||4.43|
|Francisco Liriano||5/3 – 5/25||6.57||4.47|
|Edinson Volquez||4/22 – 5/17||6.91||6.86|
|Charlie Morton||7/25 – 8/15||6.58||3.44|
|Jeff Locke||7/20 – 8/11||6.00||6.33|
None of these pitchers are clearly better than the others. This is a remarkably mediocre starting staff. The most notable thing about them is how inconsistent they are. At times they are very good. At times they are very bad. It is a good bet that whichever starter is pitching the best right now will not be same one in three weeks. It is also a good bet that Charlie Morton won’t be the weak spot of the rotation in a few weeks either. This is what makes the decision on who Cole should replace so difficult. There is no clear cut right answer.