Pitt baseball: Rhys Aldenhoven and Matt Wotherspoon will battle it out for the job of staff ace in 2014

USA TODAY Sports

With the loss of staff ace Ethan Mildren to the MLB Draft, Pitt's baseball team has a vacancy at the top of their pitching rotation. That spot is likely to be filled by one of Pitt's two returning starters, Rhys Aldenhoven and Matt Wotherspoon.

Mildren was the ace of the team last year, but both Aldenhoven and Wotherspoon were very good in their own rights. Together, the three made up a strong rotation.

Aldenhoven might be the frontrunner. He was a dominant starter, going 8-1 on the year. He didn't even lose his first game until the final series of the season against Louisville when Pitt was swept by the Cardinals. Aldenhoven had 54 strikeouts in 88 innings and his 2.76 ERA was second on the team among the regular starting pitchers.

Wotherspoon wasn't as dominant, but still posted good numbers. He was 9-3 with a 3.70 ERA and had 85 strikeouts in 107 innings.

Both made the All Big East's Second Team and you can make a solid case for either. Aldenhoven gave up fewer runs but Wotherspoon went deeper into games, pitching more innings. He also had three complete games while Aldenhoven didn't register one. Both were a bit wild as evidenced by Wotherspoon's eight wild pitches and Aldenhoven's 17 hit batters.

Either would be a fine choice and with so many months away from the season, it's not worth speculating too much over who will get the nod. But head coach Joe Jordano could have a tough decision on his hands.

(Stats provided per Pitt's baseball website)

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author, the manager/editor of Cardiac Hill, @AnsonWhaley

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