The end of Grapefruit League play is here for the Pittsburgh Pirates
After a month of games in Florida, Grapefruit League play is coming to an end for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Sunday afternoon, the team will travel to Sarasota to play the Baltimore Orioles in the 31st and final game of their 2019 Grapefruit League schedule.
Trevor Williams will make his third and final start of the spring for the Pirates on Sunday afternoon. In his first two starts, the Pirate righty has allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in 8 innings pitched. After Sunday, Williams next start will come in the second game of the regular season against the Reds on Saturday.
Righty Nick Kingham and lefty Steven Brault are both scheduled to pitch for the Pirates on Sunday as well. Both of these pitchers have been competing with Jordan Lyles for the final spot in the Pirate rotation this spring. However, despite the struggle of Lyles, it appears he will still be the man.
A big reason for this is that both Kingham and Brault have struggled as well. Kingham owns a 5.09 ERA and has allowed 18 hits, three home runs, and he’s walked eight batters in 17 2/3 innings of work this spring. Brault has allowed seven runs on 14 hits, a home run, eight hits, and hit batter in 13 2/3 innings of work (4.61 ERA).
Kingham is out of minor league options. Due to this, it appears he will be the team’s long reliever to start the season. As for Brault, expect him to begin the season at Triple-A Indianapolis. He could be a starter, a reliever, or do a bit of both for the Indians.
First pitch from Ed Smith Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 PM on Sunday afternoon. You can listen to the game on KDKA AM in the Pittsburgh area. If you’re not in the area, you can also listen to the game on pirates.com or the MLB At Bat App.