But Littlefield said left-hander Tom Gorzelanny is the pitcher most likely to be recalled from Triple-A if the Pirates decide to make a move soon. He also said it wouldn't matter if the Pirates had four left-handed starters and one right-hander, as they would have if Snell went down and Gorzelanny came up.
I'd love to see some more of Gorzelanny, but still, I hope the Pirates will be patient here. Three starts is not many at all. Snell has considerably more upside than Ryan Vogelsong, for example, and how many chances has Vogelsong gotten? Snell doesn't deserve a free pass forever, but I think he does deserve a couple months to sort things out. Paul Maholm has been nearly as bad as Snell and, unlike Snell, has very little experience at Class AAA. If you're going to send a struggling guy down (which I don't really advocate at this point), he's the one I'd send down, since there are still things he can learn down there. I don't see the point in having Snell dominate the International League again. And it's also way too early to bury Snell in the bullpen.
I know Snell hasn't been good, but the real problem here is that all the Pirates' starters have stunk. Can anyone imagine that if all the Pirates' starters were doing well except, say, Maholm, that we'd be reading this article about Maholm after three starts? I don't think we would. It's not really fair to single Snell out for his poor starts when everyone is doing poorly, and it's not a good idea to make a rash decision that probably wouldn't be made if not for circumstances (poor pitching by other starters) that really have little to do with the player most affected by the decision.