The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly set to promote Nick Kingham to start Sunday’s game. This will mark Kingham’s MLB début.
Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw their opening game of the Detroit Tigers’ series postponed due to rain. The Bucs were forced to play a double-header the next day. Due to this, the team had to push back Chad Kuhl‘s start to the double-header, throwing off their rotation. While this was a nuisance to have another game cancelled, it is actually going to lead to an exciting opportunity. The Pittsburgh Pirates are now going to promote one of their top pitching prospects for a spot start.
According to Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Pirates will promote one of their top pitching prospects in Nick Kingham. Here is what Nesbitt tweeted:
"“Nick Kingham will start for the Pirates on Sunday, per source, in his MLB début. He was on the doorstep in 2015 before he was derailed by Tommy John surgery. He has a 1.59 ERA in four AAA starts this season.”"
Of course, Kingham has been one of the more highly touted pitchers in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization since he was drafted in 2011. The big righty at one point was ranked as one of the top 100 prospects in baseball. However, like Nesbitt mentioned, Kingham’s ascent to the bigs came to a halt when he had to undergo Tommy-John in 2015. If not for that, Kingham very well would have made his big league début back in 2016.
Still, the big righty has rebounded well since returning. In 2016 he threw 46 innings between the Gulf Coast League, High-A, and Double-A. He pitched to a 2.93 ERA. The Pittsburgh Pirates moved him up to Triple-A for the entire 2017 season. It was not Kingham’s best season, but more important than his stats was that he held up the whole season. Regardless, he made 19 starts and 20 total appearances for Indy, accumulating 113.1 innings. He finished the 2017 season with a 9-6 record and an ERA of 4.13.
Kingham has pitched very well so far this season, as seen in Nesbitt’s tweet above. It is interesting that the team is going to roll with him over giving Tyler Glasnow a start. However, it is long over due that Kingham makes his big league début. If anything, it could give the team a spark to finally see the former fourth round pick make his début. He will start against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals.