Question: "Who will be the Bucs' fifth starter next year?"
124 of you responded. Here are the results.
Tony Armas Jr. - 9 votes - 7%
OUTLOOK Possible. Armas hasn't been signed yet and has enough question marks about his health and performance that he may have to accept whatever cheapo contract the Pirates may offer him.
Sean Burnett - 21 votes - 16%
OUTLOOK Likely, in my opinion. If the Bucs aren't able to sign or trade for anyone, they'll look at internal options. Of those, Burnett is probably further along in his recovery from injury than Bryan Bullington or Sean Burnett, and Yuslan Herrera will probably have to at least open the season in the minors.
Yuslan Herrera - 27 votes - 21%
OUTLOOK Unlikely, at least at the beginning of the year (the Pirates are probably hoping to be able to turn to him at some point in the season, though). Herrera hasn't pitched competitively in two years. He'll need time, and probably quite a lot of it, before he's ready to step in to a big league rotation.
Jason Marquis - 25 votes - 20%
OUTLOOK Negatory; Marquis just signed with the Cubs. A good guess, though.
Tomo Ohka - 6 votes - 4%
OUTLOOK Remote, despite recent reports - the Marquis signing ensures that even starters as mediocre as Ohka are going to be out of the Bucs' price range.
Vicente Padilla - 0 votes - 0%
OUTLOOK Nope. Padilla signed with the Rangers.
Jeff Suppan - 2 votes - 1%
OUTLOOK Remote - Suppan will be way out of the Bucs' price range.
John Van Benschoten - 10 votes - 8%
OUTLOOK Possible but unlikely. Van Benschoten is recovering from major injury problems and had never pitched that well above Class AA even before he got hurt.
Shane Youman - 9 votes - 7%
OUTLOOK Possible. Youman would be a disaster if left in the rotation for any long period of the time, but since he has few injury problems (though a sore arm forced him to leave his winter league) and the Bucs can't evaluate talent, they may run him out there.
Other - 15 votes - 12%
OUTLOOK Some of you may be thinking of Shawn Chacon or Marty McLeary, who I left off the poll because I don't see them as all that likely. In retrospect, though, I should've put Chacon on there. Some of you may be thinking the Pirates may acquire someone in a trade (like Jon Lieber - I put the poll up before the Freddy Garcia deal made Lieber expendable).