Opportunity is knocking for a former Pittsburgh Pirates top pitching prospect
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation will receive a boost. This boost will come in the form of Chris Archer rejoining the starting rotation. When this happens, someone must go from the rotation to make room.
When Archer went on the injured list, due to off days, it appeared the Pirates would not need a fifth starting pitcher. Well, Archer missing a few more days than expected combined with Jameson Taillon also hitting the IL created two rotation spots. These spots went to Nick Kingham and Steven Brault.
Tonight, Kingham will make his second start since being inserted into the Pirate rotation. There is also an opportunity at hand for Kingham. Now, it is up to him to capitalize.
At one time, Kingham was a top-100 prospect in all of baseball. Multiple surgeries, Tommy John included, later Kingham finds himself fighting for a spot on a MLB roster.
In Kingham’s first start, he allowed 2 runs in 4 innings pitched against the Texas Rangers. This is the same results Brault had in his first start. However, Sunday afternoon Brault made his second start and it did not go well. Brault allowed 6 runs on nine hits, two walks, and two home runs allowed in 3 2/3 innings pitched. To put it lightly, Brault has no business being on a MLB roster.
After Brault’s awful start, odds are, he will be the odd man out when Archer rejoins the starting rotation. A strong start from Kingham tonight would solidify this. Due to this, opportunity is knocking for Kingham.
While he’s made just one start, Kingham has pitched in nine games this season. His 5.94 ERA is ugly, but his 24.7% strikeout rate and 4.12 FIP indicate he has pitched better than his ERA indicates.
Best case scenario, Taillon is likely to be out at least another month. This creates a spot in the Pirate starting rotation and opportunity. Kingham has an opportunity to pounce on this. If he pitches well tonight, he will likely remain in the Pirate rotation moving forward. If not, you could see the newest Pirates – Chris Stratton – get an opportunity to start.