Pittsburgh Pirates: Wil Crowe to Start on Sunday Afternoon

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 03: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 03: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Sunday afternoon right-handed pitcher Wil Crowe will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they look to secure a series victory over the Minnesota Twins

Quietly, the Pittsburgh Pirates ave been played quality baseball for most of the first month of the 2021 season. Following a poor 1-6 start the Pirates now gone 9-5 in their last 14 games. This stretch puts the team at 10-11 with four games remaining in the month of April.

Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates will play the Minnesota Twins at 2:10 PM EST at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Pirates will be looking to cap off their three-city nine-game road trip with a victory. If they are indeed victorious on Sunday afternoon it will give the Pirates three series victory in as many played on the road trip, and they would finish the trip a very successful 6-3.

Even prior to going on the road the Pittsburgh Pirates were starting to play good baseball. The team took two of three from the Chicago Cubs at home and then split a four-game series with a legitimate World Series contender in the San Diego Padres. With a win on Sunday, the Pirates would improve to 4-0-1 in their last 5 series played.

Originally, Opening Day starter Chad Kuhl was scheduled to make his 5th start of the season on Sunday afternoon. However, on Thursday morning Kuhl was placed on the 10-day injured list as part of a flurry of roster moves from the Pirates. With Kuhl now on the IL, right-handed pitcher Wil Crowe will make the start for the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.


Crowe was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Josh Bell trade that they swung with the Washington Nationals on Christmas Eve. While Crowe opened the season on the team’s active roster, he made just one appearance before being optioned to the club’s alternate training site. In that lone outing he faced 5 batters allowing a hit, walking a pair, striking out a pair and he uncorked 2 wild pitches.

While this will be Crowe’s first start as a Pirate it will not be his first MLB start. He made 3 starts with the Nationals last season. In these 3 starts Crowe struggled allowing 11 earned runs in 8.1 innings pitched (11.38 ERA) on 14 hits, 5 home runs, 8 walks and 8 strikeouts.

With Kuhl on the IL this could be an opportunity for Crowe. If he pitches well he will likely be in line to make another start for the Pirates in the next turn through the starting rotation. However, due to upcoming off days the team will not need 5 starting pitchers again until May 11. So if Crowe struggles this could be a one time start.

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In order to make room for Crowe on the active roster, odds are, either reliever Geoff Hartlieb or utility man Rodolfo Castro will be optioned back to the alternate training site. Both players joined the active roster this week, and due to having minor league options remaining it appears it will be one of those two who go to make room for Crowe.

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