Pittsburgh Pirates Announce Home Opener Starting Pitcher


Monday morning Derek Shelton announced that José Quintana will start the home opener for the Pittsburgh Pirates

On Sunday afternoon, in news that came as a bit of a surprise, Derek Shelton announced that JT Brubaker will be the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Many people expected that veteran lefty José Quintana would get the ball on the Opening Day.

Monday morning Shelton then announced that Quintana will take the ball for the Pittsburgh Pirates for their home opener next Tuesday. First pitch for that game between the Pirates and Chicago Cubs is scheduled for 4:12 PM ET.

Last season the veteran lefty posted a 6.43 ERA, 4.66 FIP, an 11.8% walk rate and a 28.6% strikeout rate. These results 63 innings pitched across 29 outings, 10 of which were starts. In these 63 innings pitched Quintana allowed 12 home runs (1.71 HR/9).

The veteran has made 283 MLB appearances, 257 of which have been starts. He’s posted a 3.84 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 7.0% walk rate and a 21.3% strikeout rate in 1558.0 innings pitched. This start will see Quintana return to the National League Central where he previously spent four seasons (2017-2020) with the his opponent next Tuesday, the Cubs.

“It’s the perfect time to show the reason I’m here. I’m really excited. The opportunity to start the opener at home, that’s cool,” Quintana told Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday. Quintana will stay behind in Bradenton to throw a live pitching session on Wednesday to continue to build up his arm strength. He will then meet the rest of the team in St. Louis prior to Thursday’s season opener.

In addition to announcing that Quintana will take the ball for the home opener the team also announced on Monday that infielder Diego Castillo will make the Opening Day roster. This will be Castillo’s first taste of MLB action. Acquired in the Clay Holmes trade last summer, Castillo has hit for a .406/.429/.969 slash line this spring with a team leading 6 home runs.

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Castillo could be in contention to be the team’s starting second baseman on Opening Day, especially if Greg Allen is unable to go due to a hamstring issue and Cole Tucker shifts to the outfield. With the status of Ke’Bryan Hayes due to an ankle issue that could open the door for Castillo to start at third base as well.