Pittsburgh Pirates: Starting Rotation Changes Could Indicate a Trade is Brewing

A recently announced change by the Pittsburgh Pirates to their starting rotation for the upcoming week could indicate a trade is brewing

After a player from the Cincinnati Reds tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday night, the final two games of the weekend series between the Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates were postponed. With an off day Monday, the Pirates will now return to action on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates welcome the Cleveland Indians to PNC Park on Tuesday night, JT Brubaker will make the start. Seven Brault, who was originally scheduled to start on Saturday in Cincinnati, will start on Wednesday night, and Thursday afternoon’s start will go to Trevor Williams.

Originally, veteran lefty Derek Holland was scheduled to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. That start, however, will no longer take place. Why? Well, that remains an unknown.

Manager Derek Shelton has not revealed why Holland will no longer start on Wednesday. Just that Holland’s start will now be pushed back until later in the week. This could be a sign of a potential Holland trade brewing for the Pirates.

Holland will become a free agent when the season ends, and is undoubtedly a player the Pirates will look to trade prior to the August 31st trade deadline. In three starts this season Holland owns a 8.27 ERA, 7.24 FIP and has struck out 16 batters in 16.1 innings of work.

The stats do not do Holland justice, however. In his first two starts with the Bucs, Holland pitched well. He allowed 6 earned runs on six hits, five walks, a home run, and 10 strikeouts in 11.1 innings of work. More than good enough for a number five starting pitcher.

Then in his most recent start, Holland allowed 5 runs on four home runs against the game’s first five batters. He was then charged with 4 more runs after Shelton mistakenly sent him out to start the 6th inning, and left him in too long that inning. When the dust settled, Holland had been charged with 9 earned runs in 5+ innings of work.

Holland can pitch both out of the starting rotation and the bullpen. Additionally, he has plenty of postseason experience with the Texas Rangers. His postseason experience includes pitching in the World Series in 2010 and 2011. All of this adds to his value for other teams.

Teams are always in need of pitching help, especially starting pitching and left-handed pitching help. Due to this, Holland will have some value before the August 31st trade deadline. With his upcoming start being pushed back without nay explanation, one has to wonder if a Holland trade just might be in the works.