The Pittsburgh Pirates are about to receive a big boost for their starting rotation
A beaten and battered Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff is about to get a boost. On Wednesday, right-handed pitcher Chris Archer will rejoin the starting rotation. Archer has been on the 10-day injured list with thumb inflammation since April 27th.
Archer threw a bullpen session in Pittsburgh last week and followed it with a 60 pitch simulated game Friday in St. Louis. After this sim game, Archer told the media he was ready to rejoin the starting rotation. The Pirate brass and medical staff agreed.
Prior to getting hurt, Archer was off to a strong start this season. While he owns a 4.33 ERA and a 4.80 FIP in five starts, this needs to be taken with a bit of a grain on salt.
Archer’s thumb issue contributed to a poor start against the Dodgers in his last outing. Prior to this, he owned a 2.74 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and a healthy 28.0% strikeout rate through his first four starts. Getting this version of Archer would be a massive boost for the Pirates.
While the Pirates are currently 19-17, their pitching staff is still a bit of a mess. The rotation and bullpen both remain in flux due to injuries. However, Archer’s return should help stabilize things.
Odds are, his return will bump Steven Brault back to the bullpen and either Clay Holmes or Dovydas Neverauskas back down to Triple-A. When the newly acquired Chris Stratton arrives, that should bump whichever pitcher does not go for Archer back to the minors.
All of these moves will improve the Pirate pitching staff.
Archer is also more than capable of averaging 6 or 7 innings per start. Right now, maybe more than anything, the Pirates need length out of their starting pitchers. At least until the bullpen stabilizes and becomes more reliable outside of Felipe Vazquez, Kyle Crick, and Francisco Liriano.
Archer’s return to the rotation will come at 3:40 on Wednesday afternoon. It will be in the third and final game of their upcoming series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.