Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: JT Brubaker Begins Rehab Assignment
By Marty Leap
One of the Pittsburgh Pirates top pitching prospects will be rejoining the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis soon
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been bit hard by the injury bug this season. This has also extended into the minor leagues where top prospects such as Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz are both currently on the minor league injured list.
Another key minor leaguer that has battled the injury bug this season has been pitcher JT Brubaker. After being named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2018, Brubaker entered the 2019 season as the next man up for the Pirates and their starting rotation. Unfortunately, arm injuries have plagued Brubaker all season.
If not for the injuries, Brubaker would have made his MLB debut by now. With all of the injuries the Pirate rotation has suffered this season, there is little doubt that Brubaker would have made multiple starts by now.
Last night, Brubaker started his road back to Triple-A, and, in essence, restarted his road to the Majors. For the first time since April 24th, Brubaker pitched in a game on Tuesday night as he kicked off his rehab assignment with the short season West Virginia Black Bears.
On Tuesday night, Brubaker pitched 2 2/3 innings for the Black Bears. He was charged with 1 run on three hits, a walk, and he struck out three. He threw 50 pitches in the outing, 33 of which were for strikes.
Minor league players making rehab starts are no different than MLB players making rehab starts. Throwing pitches, facing live hitting in a game setting, and getting a feel for your pitches are what’s most important.
Prior to getting hurt, Brubaker owned a 2.57 ERA and a 3.94 FIP for the Indianapolis Indians. In 21 innings pitched he had allowed just 19 hits, one home run, he walked four, and struck out 20. He was simply picking up where he left off at last season.
When Brubaker’s rehab assignment ends, he will return to the starting rotation at Triple-A. This will put him back on the doorstep of the Majors. Odds are, we will see Brubaker in Pittsburgh at some point this season.