5 pitchers who could be in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation by end of year

The Pirates have multiple starting pitchers who could find themselves as part of their rotation by the end of the 2024 season.
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Quinn Priester

When the Pirates ran into some injuries earlier this year, Quinn Priester was their go-to guy. Heading into the 2024 season, he was seen as the sixth starter on the 40-man roster. He's missed the last few weeks due to injury, but is back in action and could soon be an option for the Bucs' big-league rotation.

Priester's numbers on the season aren't great. He has a 4.81 ERA, 5.72 FIP, and 1.55 WHIP through 31.2 innings pitched. His K% is well below 20% at 13.8%, and he's allowing nearly two home runs every nine innings with a 1.99 HR/9. That's about as "nearly two" as you can get. On the plus side, he's done great at limiting walks with a 6% BB% and is still inducing a ton of ground balls with a 60% GB%.

But Priester's underlying numbers are more promising. He has a 4.19 xFIP and 4.27 SIERA. While neither ERA estimator is overly ambitious in his performance, both paint him as what you'd expect from a back-of-the-rotation arm. His four-seamer and sinker have shown much more movement than they did last year, and while his slider has lost some movement, he's throwing it slightly harder.

Priester also has fared well at Triple-A. He has tossed 28.2 innings for Indianapolis, resulting in a 3.45 ERA, 2.72 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP. The former first-round pick is striking out just over a quarter of the batters he's faced with a 25.6% K%, a strong 6% walk rate, and 0.31 HR/9.

Priester certainly hasn't pitched poorly this year. He's provided back-of-the-rotation-caliber production for the Pirates when he has pitched. Priester will definitely be an option for the Pirates' rotation in the second half of the season. He might not be the first option, but definitely someone the Pirates could rely on if need be.