Pittsburgh Pirates: JT Brubaker to make First Career Start

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates lost one of their top young pitching prospects to an injury last weekend.  They will replace him with another prospect.

One of the biggest positives for the Pittsburgh Pirates so far has been pitching prospect JT Brubaker.  Back in March, the Bucs did not even plan to have Brubaker on the Opening Day roster.  However, due to the expanded rosters at the beginning of this altered season, Brubaker found a spot on the roster.

So far he has been one of the most impressive pitchers on the roster.  In his five innings of work he has struck out seven hitters and has only allowed four hits and issued just one walk.  Furthermore, the former Akron Zip is showing some really dominant stuff.  His fastball has averaged 94.8 miles per hour and has some natural run to it making it even harder to hit.  The spin rate on his fastball is also above average.

The best pitch he has thrown so far has been his slider.  So far this has been the pitch that has made the biggest difference for Brubaker and what will continue to lead to success at the big league level.  Of Brubaker’s five strikeouts, four of them have come on his slider.  The slider itself has averaged 88.1 miles per hour and has an elite level spin rate.

Overall, Brubaker has looked as good at the big league level as one could have hoped.  The former sixth round pick pitched well at every level of them minors earning himself a 3.60 ERA over 99 starts and 101 total appearances.  It is time that Brubaker gets a chance in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation.  According to Alex Stumpf of DKPittsburghSports.com, Brubaker will get the start this Thursday:

This is good news as the Pittsburgh Pirates did the right thing and gave one of their top pitching prospects a chance.  Some thought the team would break up the Steven Brault and Chad Kuhl tandem.  However, with Kuhl leaving his last appearance due to a finger issue, it all but ensured Brubaker would get a shot.

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As of now, Mitch Keller is on the 10-day Injured List with a side strain.  These injuries can often take more time to come back from, so Brubaker should have a chance to get a few starts in.  Hopefully, he pitches well and solidifies himself as part of a future rotation.  If not, he has shown that he can be a very effective reliever.