The Pittsburgh Pirates saw several key pitching prospects go down with an injury this year and lose significant time.
One of the most commonly talked about needs for the Pittsburgh Pirates is whether or not they have enough legitimate starting pitching prospects. During the end of the Neal Huntington Era, the Organization’s starting pitching depth became very questionable. This was not just at the Major League level, but also throughout the farm system.
So when Ben Cherington was hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the hope was he would address the lack of quality pitching depth. Thus far Cherington has done exactly that. In 2020, the new General Manager used 5 of his 6 draft picks on pitchers. This year’s draft was very similar, as he grabbed two of the top prep pitching prospects available early in Anthony Solometo and Bubba Chandler.
However, he has added a lot of pitching in other ways too. The deal that stands out the most thus far is the Jameson Taillon trade. Coming back the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired 4 players including pitchers Roansy Contreras and Miguel Yaruje. Both Contreras and Yajure have shown why the Pittsburgh Pirates targeted them in the deal. Contreras is now considered a Top 100 prospect in Baseball, and Yajure looks to be one of the first parts of this team’s future rotation.
However, both pitchers suffered injuries that sidelined them for a significant time this year. Both had arm issues, but luckily neither needed any type of surgery. Carmen Mlodzinski, the Pittsburgh Pirates Competitive Balance pick in 2020 also has put together ar really impressive 2021 year, but also missed time.
Essentially, there was a lot of concern by Pittsburgh Pirates fans when they saw these 3 go down. After all, they are 3 of the team’s top 6 pitching prospects in the system, albeit all at different levels. The good news is none of them needed anything significant done like so many other pitching prospects around Baseball. All three have returned to the mound within the last few weeks.
Of course, the biggest concern was whether or not these arms would need surgery. Pittsburgh Pirates fans are well aware of how much an arm procedure can set back a player, especially a young pitcher. This is not only true in terms of their development as a player, but also for the timeline of the Big League Club.
The most notable to affect the timeline this year has been Miguel Yaruje. Yajrue was able to make 2 starts with the Pirates before being shut down. In between those starts he spent time pitching in Triple-A as well. However, by this time of the year, many would have expected him to be fully into the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching rotation.
If not for the injury he probably would currently be in it. Instead, he has been working his way back over the last few weeks, making 4 rehab starts. With September upon us, the team has two options with Miguel Yaruje. They need to either call him up and let him make starts down the final stretch or shut him down after the Triple-A season with his previous arm injury in mind.