Pittsburgh Pirates: Steven Brault Set To Make 2021 Spring Debut
By Marty Leap
Wednesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates will travel to Port Charlotte to battle the Tampa Bay Rays as Steven Brault makes his 2021 spring debut
Through the first three games of Grapefruit League play the Pittsburgh Pirates own a 1-1-1 record. In these first three games the Pirates have defeated the Baltimore Orioles, tied the Toronto Blue Jays and lost against the Detroit Tigers.
Wednesday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates will travel to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida, to battle the Tampa Bay Rays. When the Pirates and Rays lock horns on Wednesday afternoon, the potential Opening Day starter for the Pirates will toe the rubber.
Left-handed pitcher Steven Brault will make his 2021 spring debut on Wednesday afternoon. Dating back to mid-May 2019 Brault has been the best starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates that is still with the organization. Due to this, Brault would appear to be the frontrunner to be the Opening Day starter for the Pirates.
In 11 games (9 starts) Brault posted a 3.38 ERA, 3.92 FIP, 0.42 HR/9 and a 21.3% strikeout rate in 2020. While his strikeout rate was a career high, so was his 12.4% walk rate. His 0.8 fWAR was the second best of his career, next to his 1.1 fWAR in 2019, but projects to a 2.5 fWAR over the course of a full season.
Dating back to May 18, 2019, Brault has made 27 starts while pitching in 30 MLB games. In these 30 games he has posted a 4.19 ERA and a 4.24 FIP in 139.2 innings pitched. In these 30 outings Brault has posted a 0.77 HR/9, 10.9% walk rate and a 19.8% strikeout rate.
As has been the case with starting pitchers Chad Kuhl, Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker in the first three Grapefruit League games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, look for Brault to toss just a single inning on Wednesday afternoon. This is done to ease pitchers into a bigger workload as the spring continues.
First pitch from Port Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon is scheduled for 1:05 PM EST. You can listen to the game on MLB.com and 93.7 The Fan, if you’re in the Pittsburgh market. The game will also be available for telecast to MLB.tv subscribers.