Other Potential Arms
You could almost make a second rotation with the number of arms that the Pirates will have at their disposal. While the likes of Contreras, Mlodzinski, and Yajure are top prospects currently, Wilson was a former top 100 prospect, and the Pirates acquired Thompson, these arms still have the potential to make the rotation
Keller was once considered the premier arms in the minor leagues. He’s shown some talent, but consistency has been his biggest struggle. Last year, he had 9 outings where he pitched at least 5 innings and gave up 2 or fewer earned runs. He also had 5 outings where he gave up 5+ earned runs. Keller will start the 2022 season in the rotation and he’ll still only be in his age-26 season, but time is running out for the right-hander.
Dillon Peters ended up being an underrated acquisition by the Pirates. He pitched 26.2 innings posting a 3.71 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 1.35 WHIP. 4 of the 11 earned runs he gave up came in the final outing of his season. While Peters will have an upper hand on a rotation spot to start 2022, he’s far from a guarantee.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Wil Crowe as part of the Josh Bell trade. He tossed 116.2 innings posting a poor 5.48 ERA, 5.67 FIP, and 1.596 WHIP in 116.2 innings. Crowe did show some promise with a solid stretch in June and July and ending the season with a 3.20 ERA in his final 19.2 innings, but Crowe isn’t guaranteed a rotation spot to start 2022.
JT Brubaker had a solid first half of the season, but struggled down the line, mainly with home runs. All told, he tossed 124.1 innings posting a 5.36 ERA, 5.16 FIP, and 1.295 WHIP. Brubaker did have some promising underlying numbers such as a 4.04 SIERA, 4.00 xFIP, and an insanely high HR/FB ratio that should decrease if he keeps up similar batted ball rates. The right-hander will open 2022 as a starter but could move to the bullpen if he keeps struggling as a starting pitcher.
Max Kranick had a phenomenal debut where he tossed 5 perfect innings vs the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the right-hander would go on to give up 27 more earned runs in 33.2 innings. He’ll still only be 24-years-old next year and is in the running for an opening day rotation spot. Plus he had some solid numbers at Triple-A.
Acquired as one of the piece of the Joe Musgrove trade, Omar Cruz posted solid results at High-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona. He’ll likely start 2022 at Triple-A and be called up early into the season. Cruz could potentially be an early-season rotation candidate.