Pittsburgh Pirates Have the Building Blocks For a Strong Starting Rotation

Aug 28, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Roansy Contreras (59) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Roansy Contreras (59) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Johan Oviedo (62) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Johan Oviedo (62) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Two young arms burst onto the scene in September

During the month of September two young, talented, electric arms turned heads as members of the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation. They were righties Johan Oviedo and Luis Ortiz. Looking ahead to 2023, both could play huge roles for the Bucs.

Oviedo was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the José Quintana trade. In the final month of the season Oviedo made seven starts, posting a 3.23 ERA and a 3.47 FIP in 30.2 innings pitched. Oviedo had just one poor outing, allowing 4 runs in 1.2 innings pitched against the Mets, and posted a 20.9% strikeout rate. Oviedo should open the 2023 season in the Pirate starting rotation and could have a breakout season.

As for Ortiz, he started the season with Double-A Altoona and reached Triple-A Indianapolis before being promoted to the majors. Ortiz made four starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates in September, posting a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings pitched.

Ortiz’s final start of the season saw him allow 6 runs while failing to get out of the 1st inning. Outside of this start, Ortiz was extremely impressive. He had a 14.5% walk rate, most of which was due to that final start, but struck out 24.6% of batters faced.

Next. How Pirate Hitting Prospects Performed in AFL Regular Season. dark

Ortiz will likely start the 2023 season with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. However, if he continues to show plus stuff and pitch well with the Indians, then he should join the Pirate starting rotation on a permanent basis sooner rather than later in the 2023 season.