Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Under-the-Radar Trade Chips

Jun 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Chasen Shreve (55) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Chasen Shreve (55) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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DENVER, COLORADO – JUNE 30: Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl #39 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Colorado Rockies in the first ining at Coors Field on June 30, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO – JUNE 30: Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl #39 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Colorado Rockies in the first ining at Coors Field on June 30, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl

Chad Kuhl was tabbed the Opening Day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After just four starts, Kuhl landed on the injured list. This led to Kuhl missing over a month of action as he did not return to the mound until May 31.

On the season Kuhl has made 10 starts. He’s pitched 45.1 innings, posting a 5.16 ERA and a 5.65 FIP. Kuhl’s long battle with control has continued as he has walked 13.9% of batters faced and his strikeout rate of 17.3% is a career-low. However, he’s allowing home runs at a rate of 1.19 HR/9 which is his lowest since 2017.

What could make Kuhl intriguing to teams though is his stuff. Kuhl possesses a power fastball, as well as throwing both a slider and a curveball that have the potential to be plus pitches. Kuhl has also pitched better since coming off the IL, posting a 4.55 ERA, 4.34 FIP, 9.5% walk rate and a 0.61 HR/9 in 29.2 innings pitched in six starts.

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Ultimately, Kuhl may be best suited for a long relier/swing-man role in the Majors. As the Pittsburgh Pirates saw with the likes of Jeanmar Gomez, Vance Worley, Vin Mazzaro and Joe Blanton, to name a few, during their 2013-2015 postseason runs these types of arms can be vital. All it takes is one team falling in love with Kuhl’s potential and believing they can be the organization to harness it for him to develop a trade market.

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