The time has come for the Pittsburgh Pirates to cut ties with a former top prospect
Entering both the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Kingham was a top-100 prospect in all of baseball. MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus all raved about Kingham and his changeup. However, things have not gone according to plan for the former 4th round draft pick.
In 2015 Kingham appeared to be knocking on the door of the Majors, but six starts into his season at AAA he would undergo Tommy John Surgery. Kingham has never been the same pitcher since then.
Last season Kingham made his MLB in grand fashion. In his first career start, he retired the first 20 batters he faced against the St. Louis Cardinals on his way to pitching 7 shutout innings. Since then, few things have gone well for Kingham.
He finished the 2018 season with a 5.21 ERA, 5.65 FIP, and 2.13 HR/9 in 18 games (15 start) across 76 innings of work. Due to being out of minor league options, Kingham started the 2019 season on the active roster. He has pitched both as a starter and in relief for the Pirates this season, but neither has gone well.
Kingham has made a pair of starts this season. Last season, he replaced opener Montana DuRapau with two outs in the 1st inning in his 11th appearance of the season. After being tagged for 6 runs in 4 innings pitched, he now owns a 8.76 ERA and a 5.03 FIP this season. His walk rate is 11.8%, which is entirely too high, and his 36.7% groundball rate is too low.
It appears that Kingham is not capable of retiring MLB hitters. Due to this, the Pirates need to designated him for assignment. He no longer brings any positives to the team.
To be blunt, Kingham has been bad at everything this season. With the Pirates in need of starting pitching help, it is time to add both Mitch Keller and Dario Agrazal from AAA. The team should give Agrazal the start on Saturday night, while Keller gets one of the two games in Cincinnati on Saturday. In order to help create roster space, Kingham needs to be designated for assignment.