Young Rotation Ready to Step Up

Ivan Nova ready to lead four pitchers 26 or younger.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 31, 2018 - 5:30 am
Jameson Taillon

93.7 the Fan

If the Pirates are going to compete this year, yeah a lot of things have to happen, but nothing is more critical than the young starting pitching.

It is young, after 31-year-old Ivan Nova is a bunch of 26 and younger guys.  It's also inexperienced, those four others have combined for four full years of major league experience, so the players gravitate to Nova and his eight years in the game.

“Leads like a veteran,” Trevor Williams said.  “He’s been there and done that.  He’s what we need for these four guys.  He’s a guy that is ‘I will show you how to do it on the field and I’ll show you how to do it off the field'.  He’s very professional with what he does.  He’s a big leaguer in every sense of the word.”

Nova prides himself on being there for the young guys.  And he gets something out of it as well.

“They make me a better person and a better teammate,” Nova said.  “Every time I come here and see how they work out, it makes me work out harder.”

“It’s been fun,” Jameson Taillon said.  “We have a really good group of guys.  It’s been cool to see, I didn’t play with a lot of these guys coming up.  It’s been cool.  A lot of guys have been meshing.”

Pitching coach Ray Searage is enjoying this group, their Breakfast Club meetings and just the way they all get along.  Now it’s about pushing them.

“They’re competitors,” Searage said.  “The normal quality start of six innings and three runs.  We are going with seven innings and three runs.  That’s what we are going on.  These guys have embraced it and we’re going for it.”

“Everyone’s got good velocity with good stuff and good pitches,” said the newcomer to the rotation, Joe Musgrove.  “I think it’s just more of us just getting out there and getting the reps and learning continuing to grow as pitchers.  We’re all going to be here for a couple of years at least, I think it’s a good start for us to build.”

 “One thing that we have is another year of experience,” Nova said.  “This year more than ever, they have asked me a lot of questions.  We are going to be in good shape, a good place.  It’s going to be amazing.”

“I think we are great,” Williams added.  “I think we are going to be great.  I think we are going to surprise people.  I think Nova is going to lead us and I think we are going to heavily rely on him and Taillon this year to set the tone.  We’re going to have fun watching those guys go to battle and we’re going to have fun every fifth day with each of us.”