Pittsburgh Pirates Move Nick Kingham Back To The Bullpen

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Pitcher Nick Kingham #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Pirates 6-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Pitcher Nick Kingham #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Pirates 6-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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Prior to the start of Friday’s game the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Nick Kingham will move back to the bullpen

After making a pair of starts, Nick Kingham is moving back to the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This move comes after Kingham struggled mightily in both of his starts.

In his two starts Kingham got shelled to the tune of 9 runs allowed on 13 hits, four walks, and two home runs. He struck out seven batters and pitched 8 innings in his two starts, both of which were losses for the Pirates. This comes out to the tune of a 10.13 ERA.

Kingham started the season in the bullpen. In 12 2/3 innings pitched as a reliever this season he has allowed 9 runs on 13 hits, six walks, a home run, and 13 strikeouts. Opponents have slugged .458 off of Kingham as a reliever this season, and he owns a 6.39 ERA.

While getting Kingham out of the starting rotation is a plus, he still does not serve much purpose on a MLB roster. He has not pitched effectively this season as a start or as a reliever, however, with the amount of injuries that have accumulated with the Pirate pitching staff they are hard pressed to find another option right now.

With Kingham out of the rotation, it looks like Steven Brault will get another shot to start. Like Kingham, Brault started the season in the Pirate bullpen before making starts in each of his last two outings. Also like Kingham, these two starts were a disaster.

Overall this season Brault owns an 8.82 ERA, 6.90 FIP, and a 11.5% walk rate in 16 1/3 innings pitched. In his two starts, he’s allowed 8 runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched (9.39 ERA) on 11 hits, five walks, and seven strikeouts.

Despite his struggles, Hurdle expressed interest in having a lefty in the Pirate rotation prior to the start of Friday’s game. The team has said that Brault could start on Saturday night, or that they could use an opener. However, after Trevor Williams only last 3 2/3 innings last night due to injury, the odds of using an opener seems slim.

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Now, this was announced before Williams left last night’s game due to an injury. If Williams becomes the 20th Pirate player to go on the injured list this season, then Kingham may find his way back into the starting rotation.

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