Left-handed starting pitcher Steven Brault will make his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
So far in 2016 five different players have made their Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates. These four players are starting pitchers Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl, relief pitcher Wilfredo Boscan, catcher Jacob Stallings, and super utility player Adam Frazier. On Tuesday night, left-handed pitcher Steven Brault will become the sixth Pittsburgh Pirate to debut in 2016.
Steven Brault will get the ball on Tuesday night due to Jameson Taillon being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue on Monday afternoon. The Pirates do not seem overly concerned about Taillon, and I am willing to bet he will return shortly after next week’s All-Star Break. Regardless of how long Jameson Taillon is out for Steven Brault has been handed an opportunity.
For those who do not remember, Steven Brault was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles, along with Stephen Tarpley, in exchange for outfielder Travis Snider prior to the start of the 2015 season. Ever since joining the Pirate organization Steven Brault has done nothing but turn in one strong start after another. This consistency from Brault is a big reason he has earned this promotion to the Major Leagues.
Last season Steven Brault pitched for both High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona. With Bradenton Brault had a 3.02 ERA, 3.44 FIP, and he averaged 6.17 K/9, 2.88 BB/9, and 0.41 HR/9 in 65 2/3 innings pitched. Brault then followed this up with 90 innings pitched at Double-A in which he averaged 8.00 K/9, 1.90 BB/9, 0.10 HR/9, and he had a 2.00 ERA and 2.37 FIP.
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After getting off to a strong start at Triple-A this season Steven Brault went on the disabled list in early May. However, ever since returning to the Indianapolis rotation on June 20th he has pitched the best baseball of his professional career. In three starts since returning from the disabled list Brault has allowed ten hits, two runs, two walks, and has struck out 14 batters in 12 1/3 innings pitched.
Overall on the season at Triple-A Steven Brault has pitched 35 innings, and has a 2.57 ERA and 2.83 FIP. Steven Brault is also averaging a career best 11.31 K/9, to go along with 0.51 HR/9, 3.86 BB/9, a 1.43 WHIP, and a .252 opponent batting average against. Brault is also a left-handed pitcher, which is beneficial as the St. Louis Cardinals are not good against left-handed pitching (their .240 team batting average against left-handed pitching ranks 25th in the Majors).
Steven Brault will bring a four pitch mix to the table with a fastball, slider, change up, and curve ball. Brault’s best pitch is his slider, while his curve ball is the pitch he will throw least often. Steven Brault’s fastball sits in the 89-92 mile per hour range, and when it is going best has hard sink.
Steven Brault, as evident by his career 2.30 BB/9 average, has great command of all of his pitches. Brault’s delivery also creates a lot of depiction with his pitches, especially his fastball, making it more difficult for hitters to pick up. Brault will also hide the ball until the last second in his delivery while working at a very quick pace.
As I said above, Steven Brault’s best pitch is his slider. This is his out pitch, and is a big reason he has struck out so many batter the past two seasons. Brault’s slider will usually start in the strike zone, and then dive out of the zone at the last second creating a lot of ugly swings.
Steven Brault will never possess the pure stuff that will ‘wow’ people. However, Brault has good enough stuff and command to be a successful pitcher in the Major Leagues. In my opinion, a good player comp for Steven Brault is Mark Buehrle.
On Tuesday night, Pirate fans will see the Major League debut of left-handed starting pitcher Steven Brault. Hopefully for both Brault and the Pirates, his Major League debut is similar to those of Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl. If that happens, you have to like the Pirates chances of taking a 2-0 series lead in this four game set against the Cardinals.