With Kip Wells out, the Pirates now have only three pitchers who are assured of spots in the rotation. One of those guys is coming off a season in which he got injured and put up a 5.85 ERA; the other two have 20 big-league starts between them. Needless to say, the Pirates' rotation isn't exactly solidly built right now.
There are still a lot of options for the last two spots and in emergencies, however. Who do you want in the last two spots? Here are some options:
Reasons to give him a spot: As a Rule 5 pick, he needs to make the team if the Pirates want to keep him. He has experience as a big-league starter.
Reasons not to: He stinks.
Reasons to give him a spot: Of the players being considered for the rotation, he and Santos are the only ones who can't be sent back to the minors. He has excellent stuff.
Reasons not to: His career performance record is terrible. He's been just good enough to survive in a bullpen role but not good enough to avoid getting bombed as a starter.
Reasons to give him a spot: Superb minor league numbers and excellent fastball and breaking ball.
Reasons not to: Doesn't have a good third pitch, is 'too short,' probably made some inappropriate joke about Dave Littlefield's mother that somebody overheard, and other things that, in my opinion, shouldn't matter until Snell proves he can't survive as a big-league starter. Also, he can be sent back to the minors, which gives the Pirates some flexibility.
Reasons to give him a shot: Very highly regarded. Excellent performance record in the low minors and Class AA. Is supposedly in good health.
Reasons not to: Hasn't pitched in the big leagues since the middle of the 2004 season. Is recovering from a major injury. Has never performed especially well above Class AA. (Here are his career stats; that 2004 AAA line is actually pretty ugly.) Can be sent back to the minors.
Reasons to give him a shot: Very highly regarded; great stuff and excellent performance record.
Reasons not to: He has never pitched in Class AAA and has only had a cup of coffee in the majors. Can be sent back to the minors.
Which two would you choose?