The team’s current roster construction makes no sense
Typically, when a MLB team puts a starting pitcher on the injured list they promote another starting pitcher from the minor leagues. This is doubly true when they place two starters on the IL. Well, apparently, the Pittsburgh Pirates are not most MLB teams.
Last week, the team placed Chris Archer on the IL. No starting pitcher was promoted to the MLB level, but, due to off days it was believed Archer could return before the Pirates would need five starters again.
Not only did this not happen as Archer is still out, the other starter at the top of the team’s rotation – Jameson Taillon – has since joined Archer on the IL. This left the Pirates with just three starting pitchers on their roster. Yet, no starter was promoted from the minors.
Yeah, I don’t understand, either.
Instead of calling up, say, top prospect Mitch Keller the team decided to move Steven Brault and Nick Kingham from the bullpen to the starting rotation. This was despite neither pitcher having made a start this yet limiting how far they could go into the game, and despite neither pitcher having a good MLB track record as a starter.
To their credit, both pitchers battled. Both Brault and Kingham pitched 4 innings in their starts and each allowed just a two-run home run. The problem is, it left the bullpen short.
Adding to the roster issues, Keone Kela was placed on the IL….10 minutes after Wednesday’s game ended. Huh?
The team knew the bullpen would be overworked in these two games even if Brault and Kingham pitched well. They knew it was the start of a 13 games in 13 days stretch. And, by Wednesday morning at least, they knew Kela would be headed to the IL. Yet, they waited to make the move instead of promoting a much needed reliever.
The way this roster is currently constructed makes no sense. Now, with at least four relievers set to be unavailable against the Cardinals on Thursday night and Kela on the IL, at least one roster move will need to be made. Honestly, rather the team does it or not, they probably need to promote two relievers before Thursday’s game. But with their roster construction decisions, they’ll probably decide to continue to roll short handed instead.