Pirates’ Brandon Cumpton to see Dr. James Andrews next week
By Jake Misener
It happens every year with one team or another; the injury bug bites during Spring Training – at least to some degree. So far in camp this year for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s right-hander Brandon Cumpton.
The right-hander, who experienced elbow discomfort after throwing live batting practice last weekend in Bradenton, is set to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday – which is never a good sign for a pitcher.
Just 26 years old, Cumpton was selected in the eighth round of the 2010 draft by the Bucs – and after three-plus seasons in the minors, made his big league debut in 2013. That year, he made half-a-dozen appearances for Pittsburgh, pitching to a 2.05 earned run average and 1.011 WHIP.
Last year, he made 16 appearances for the Pirates – 10 of which were starts – and he struggled at times, posting a 4.89 ERA and 1.429 WHIP in 70 innings of work. That being said, his 3.22 FIP indicated that he was much better than one may initially be led to believe.
During his minor league career, the righty is 33-31 with a 3.68 earned run average across 499 innings of work. He’s been remarkably consistent as he worked his way up through the ranks and with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis last year, he went 5-4 with a 3.04 ERA.
Cumpton was considered a long-shot to break camp with the big league club, ranking seventh on the Bucs’ MLB.com starting pitching depth chart, behind Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, A.J. Burnett, Vance Worley and Jeff Locke. That being said, losing his services for an entire season would, to some degree, cut into the Pirates’ remarkable pitching depth.