Over at Bucs Dugout, I argue that the Pirates should still be hunting for another starting pitcher for 2012. Their rotation currently includes Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Charlie Morton and Kevin Correia, with Brad Lincoln as a backup plan.â†µ
Unfortunately, as things stand, they're probably going to find plenty of uses for their backup plan, and probably other backup plans after that. Bedard is a very good pitcher when healthy, but he's a bad bet to pitch more than 100 innings, due to his injury issues. Morton is supposed to be ready to go when the season starts, but he'll be coming off offseason surgery. And Kevin Correia, despite his early-season semi-heroics in 2011, is just bad and shouldn't be in the rotation at all.
In other words, the Pirates need more. They declined Paul Maholm's option early in the offseason, a move that made more sense when they acquired Bedard, whose value is similar to Maholm's, more cheaply. But this is a Pirates team that fell apart badly down the stretch, not a World Series team. The Bucs need to do more than merely replacing one decent pitcher with another decent one. Hopefully, they're not through.