Pittsburgh Pirates: Cumpton and Keller Pitch Last Night


Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent two pitchers to the mound in the minors.  One is a top prospect, while the other is a former big leaguer trying to come back from injury.

The Pittsburgh Pirates saw Brandon Cumpton make his first start in Triple-A since 2014.  The right-handed starter at one time looked like he could be a potential piece of the team’s rotation entering the 2015 season.  However, Cumpton saw himself head to the disabled list when he tore his UCL during Spring Training in 2015.  Cumpton then had a set back during his rehab, and he essentially missed all of 2015 and 2016.

Finally, Cumpton made it back to game action this season.  He officially started when he pitched 10.2 innings for Bradenton.  However, the bulk of this season was spent in Altoona for the 28-year-old. The biggest thing, however, is that Cumpton is being used as a reliever nowadays.  After throwing 20 innings for Double-A, the Bucs promoted Cumpton to Triple-A this week.

Last night he made his first appearance for the Indianapolis Indians.  Cumpton had a very good relief appearance in his 2016 Triple-A début.  He threw two innings of scoreless baseball, striking out three, and not allowing a single base runner. Realistically, it will be quite surprising to see Cumpton back in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform this season.  It will be interesting to see if they plan on keeping him in the bullpen for next season, or if it is just a precaution for now.

Meanwhile, the Altoona Curve saw the Pittsburgh Pirates top pitching prospect go to the mound for them last night.  Keller, who has pitched very well so far in Altoona, had an interesting start.  In a way, it was Keller’s most inefficient start, still, he ended up having a strong start.  The righty only chalked up five innings, but he only gave up twith earned runs.  Also, Keller punched out six batters, which is good to see that he struck out more than one batter per inning.  However, he did walk fout batters and gave up four hits.  He also had some shoddy defense that cost him two unearned runs as well.

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It is good to see Brandon Cumpton working his way back.  At one point, many fans were jumping on his bandwagon, they saw a guy who worked hard and got decent results.  It will be great if he can stay healthy and maybe get a chance in 2018.  Meanwhile, Mitch Keller had his worst start of his short Double-A career so far.  Still, he limited the damage and had ended up having a decent final line.