Three Players who Should be September Callups for the Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 28: Tyler Glasnow
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 28: Tyler Glasnow /

On Friday Major League Baseball roster will expand with September callups, who are potential September call-ups for the Pittsburgh Pirates?

The month of August is quickly winding down. As the month of September inches closer so does September callups across all of Major League Baseball.

September callups can have a variety of meanings. Teams who are in contention will promote players when rosters expand to attempt to help their team in a playoff push. Other teams, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, will make September callups to allow young players to gain valuable Major League experience and to make a case for a spot on the following season’s Opening Day roster.

When rosters expand on September 1st the Pittsburgh Pirates will have a wave of callups to the Major Leagues. There will be another wave when Triple-A Indianapolis has their season end a few days later.

There will be more than three September callups for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, there are three players in particular Pirate fans should want to see as September callups. All three of these players are pitchers.

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Starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect – Tyler Glasnow – started the season the team’s starting rotation. After struggling, however, he was demoted to Triple-A in June. Since being demoted, Glasnow has been absolutely dominant.

Tyler Glasnow dominating the Triple-A level is nothing new. What is new, though, are the changes he has made during his latest trip to the minor leagues. These changes appear to be paying off huge dividends.

First off, Tyler Glasnow now pitches exclusively out of the stretch. This comes after he had always struggled in the stretch and in controlling the opposing running game. Secondly, he is pitching inside and jamming hitters more. Finally, as Triple-A manager Andy Barkett has discussed, he is more aggressive and confident than he has ever been. All of this has also led to Glasnow owning the best control of his professional career.

Since returning to Triple-A Tyler Glasnow has averaged 13.50 K/9 and 3.21 BB/9 in 81 1/3 innings pitched. He has allowed 49 hits, just six home runs, and he’s thrown just a single wild pitch. This has led to him owning a 1.99 ERA and a 2.41 FIP since returning to Triple-A.

Tyler Glasnow has earned another shot in the Pirate rotation. It would be a complete shock if he is not in the Pirate rotation in September, if not sooner. Hopefully, Glasnow has turned a corner and is ready to become the front of the rotation starting pitcher the Pirates have long projected him to be.

Starting pitcher Nick Kingham

Right-handed starting pitcher is another top Pirate pitching prospect. Kingham was expected to make his Major League debut in 2015, however, Tommy John Surgery has delayed Kingham’s debut.

Nick Kingham is out of options after the season and must make the team out of Spring Training next season or else he will be exposed to waivers, ala Alen Hanson this past spring. The Pirates are not going to let this happen to Kingham. Like Glasnow, it would be a surprise if Kingham does not see time in Pittsburgh this fall.

Even after allowing 8 runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched on Saturday, Nick Kingham is still having a strong season at Triple-A. In 108 1/3 innings pitched he is averaging 7.23 K/9, just 2.33 BB/9, and 0.66 HR/9. He owns a 3.99 ERA and a 3.70 FIP.

Throughout his minor league career Nick Kingham has been known for great control, a good curveball, and a plus change up. He has flashed all three of these qualities at Triple-A this season which is great to see. Kingham possesses all the tools needed to be a strong middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher in the Major Leagues, and the Pittsburgh Pirates need to start Kingham Major League career in September.

Relief pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas

Like Tyler Glasnow, Dovydas Neverauskas has spent time in Pittsburgh this season. In three stints with the Pirates Neverauskas owns a 3.09 ERA, a 4.33 FIP, and a 4.10 xFIP in 11 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 9, allowed just a pair of home runs, and issued a single walk.

The second trip to the Major League’s for Neverauskas was better than the first two. After making adjustments at Triple-A to use his cutter more and pitch inside more, his Major League results improved.

In 6 2/3 innings pitched in his most recent Major League stint, Neverauskas allowed a solo home run, a pair of singles, and did not walk a batter. He also struck out 7 batters. The only reason Neverauskas was optioned back to Triple-A was due to the Pirates being desperate need of fresh bullpen arms and Dovy having pitched in three consecutive games leading up to that.

Starting in 2018, Dovydas Neverauskas will be a huge part of the Pirate bullpen. His cutter/curveball combo gives him the tools needed to be a successful reliever for a long time in Pittsburgh. This September, look for Neverauskas to begin to cement his long-term spot in the Pirate bullpen.

Next: Bucs (Finally) Win Series vs Reds

The Pittsburgh Pirates will make multiple September callups over the course of the next 10-14 days. On top of these three players, Chris Bostick, Edgar Santana, Gift Ngoepe, Jacob Stallings, and Jordan Luplow are all candidates to return to the Major Leagues as well. Hopefully, the month of September will be kind to the Pirates and their young players and serve as a catapult into 2018.