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Pirates 2017: Pitching Options

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As much as 80 percent of the Pirates starting rotation could be different next season. Only Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are locks to return from the 2015 crew. With three spots potentially open, the Pirates could look to add veterans through waivers, free agency and trades. Here are some potential in-house solutions.

INTERNAL OPTIONS
Steven Brault, Age 24
The lefty made his big league debut in early July, earning his shot with an improved changeup especially against right-hand batters. Brault's 2015 Triple-A numbers were excellent and he showed enough in his seven major league starts to get a legitimate shot to make the rotation out of spring training.

Tyler Glasnow, Age 23
The 6-8 Glasnow entered the season as the team's top prospect and lived up to the hype in Triple-A. His top-notch fastball separates him from the pack and will give him a chance to be a true ace once he matures. His skill level will put him in the mix, but his command still needs work.

Drew Hutchison, Age 26
A one-time top prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system, Hutchison came to the Pirates in the Francisco Liriano trade. His stock his fallen over the last two seasons, but the Pirates are hopeful a chance of scenery will provide his career with a boost.

Nick Kingham, Age 24
Kingham was ticked for the majors in 2015, but Tommy John surgery sidetracked him. He returned to competitive pitching in the second half of the 2016 season and responded well to the challenges of coming back to the mound with an above average fastball. Kingham’s best quality is the ability to pitch consistently with a free and easy delivery.

Chad Kuhl, Age 24
Kuhl debuted for the Pirates this season and established consistency over his 14 starts. He posted an ERA of 4.20 for the season and has an above average sinker that he throws at nearly 93 mph.

Trevor Williams, Age 24
Williams debuted in the month of September for the Pirates and has the ability to elicit ground ball out with an above average slider. Once the top-pitching prospect for the Florida Marlins, Williams found himself in a crowded situation in Pittsburgh but put himself on the map with a strong 2016 performance at Triple-A Indianapolis.Pirates Ivan Nova

VETERANS
Ryan Vogelsong, Age 39
Vogelsong could potentially retire, although he said in September he intends to continue his career. His 2016 season was up and down and full of injuries, but his 1.47 WHIP was very close to his career average.

Ivan Nova, Age 29
Ivan Nova was traded to the Pirates in July from the New York Yankees. He has 129 starts over his six-year major league career and seemed to experience a rebirth after arriving in Pittsburgh. Nova went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts with the Bucs. He's an unrestricted free agent but is one of the top starters on the market.

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