Dejan Kovacevic reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Justin Duchscherer have mutual interest. The Pirates have expressed interest in Duchscherer in each of the last two seasons, although Kovacevic mentions that the interest is stronger this year.
Duchscherer is a big injury risk, missing the entire 2009 season, and only making five starts in 2010. When healthy, he’s an excellent starting option, with a 2.60 ERA in 169.2 innings as a starter between 2008 and 2010, including a 2.89 ERA in his five starts last year. Duchscherer made all of his starts in the month of April, was placed on the disabled list on April 30th, and moved to the 60-day DL in June.
His injury history is mostly hip related. He was on the 60-day DL in 2007 with a right hip injury. In 2008 he only made 22 starts due to hip and biceps problems. He did miss the 2009 season after elbow surgery, but seemed fine in his return in 2010. His 2010 injury again was a hip issue, this time with his left hip.
The Pirates are reportedly close to signing Scott Olsen. It’s unknown whether that would remove them from any other potential signings, such as Duchscherer, or a trade for Kenshin Kawakami. My preference would be Duchscherer over Olsen, since he’s been good when he’s actually been healthy.