Who's Who In The Pittsburgh Pirates "Breakfast Club"?
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Every morning, a row of lockers in the Pirate City clubhouse stands unoccupied. Then all at once into the room walk Jameson Taillon, Joe Musgrove, Steven Brault, Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl, Tyler Glasnow and a handful of other pitchers. It's not a coincidence of timing.
"That's on purpose. We're doing a little breakfast club every morning," Taillon said. "We just sit down and eat breakfast together."
It's an inclusive group -- everyone's invited -- but most of the usual members are young starters. It's nothing complicated, nothing too secretive. They just eat -- and talk -- for about 30 or 45 minutes each morning.
They'll chat about whatever is on their minds, and with nearly everyone involved between 24 and 26 years old, they have plenty in common. It might be movies -- most recently "Black Panther" -- or whatever Brault and Williams have planned for their podcast. The conversation often turns to their experiences in baseball, shared or otherwise. Most of them have either recently established themselves in the Majors or hope to do so this year.
When a headline has "Breakfast Club" in it and you have five to six different players, all pitchers, meeting up for said event, how is doing something like comparing them to the John Hughes' classic not a gimme? However, to get the true jist of this post, let's look at Anthony Michael Hall's final essay before we begin labeling them like Assistant Principal Vernon:
That's right, AMH - labels are for assholes. And you, Assistant Principal Vernon, are an asshole. Just look how you treated the cool janitor guy who used to be popular, but is now mopping up sorrows in the the hallowed halls he once roamed.
Me, too man. Me too. Now I'm a guy with a ceiling on the verge of collapsing writing a blog in a Starbucks. I feel the pain. (Also I feel the pain of realizing I'm closer to age of the janitor than I am the scallywags in detention. Oh boy.)
Alright, so what are we gonna do? We're gonna pull a Mr. Vernon and label these guys, but instead of being a trashy role model like he was, we're gonna look at the positive side of things. Spring training should be all about optimism (guarded or unguarded) so let's keep a solid outlook on the beauty of spring baseball.
Trevor Williams - The Wild Card
More on the personality side, dude loves Star Wars, Game Of Thrones, does a podcast (hey, I do too!) and would be the guy to break down some nerdy pop culture with. Also a favorite past time of mine too.
Jameson Taillon - The New Hope
Trevor Williams may get jealous considering this is a Star Wars reference, but Taillon is the guy a lot of the Bucco faithful are hanging their ball caps on. After losing Cole, Jameson is the Pirate who has shown he's got the fire for #1 starter potential.
Chad Kuhl - The Comeback Kid
"Kuhl Hand Luke" had some an up and down year last season, staying more in the average zone than anything else, but having another season with a curveball under his belt could highlight his other pitches a little more (especially that fastball of his)
Steven Brault - The Southpaw
With his status as a member of the bullpen still yet unknown, Brault will be someone to keep an eye on considering the Bucs need more lefties lingering around. Only throwing 68 innings in the majors leaves a lot left unknown. He's proven himself in Triple A. 2018 will hopefully be where he proves himself in The Show.
Joe Musgrove - The New Kid
Musgrove sauntered out onto Minute Maid's mound last year in relief with a 1.44 ERA in relief. He's got six pitches in his arsenal and three of them are fastball variants. Depending on how things go, new kid could get homecoming king at Buccos High especially if he transitions those numbers into the starting rotation.
Tyler Glasnow - The Mystery
Glasnow murders it in Triple A ball, but it's due time to see how he fares in the majors. These types of meet-ups with peers may help boost any hang-ups he has about Big League pitching and maybe at the very least, get some time in relief.
There they are, guys. Having breakfast, hopefully ready to break the fast of the Pittsburgh down trodden. Now everyone go feel their age.