Pittsburgh Pirates: Roansy Contreras Looking to Fix First Inning Issues

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten off to a rough start in the 2023 season, with their rotation struggling to keep opponents from scoring early in games. Yes, it has only been three games but it seems to be a reoccurring issue. However, there is reason for optimism as the team has recently added Roansy Contreras to their roster.

Contreras, a young and talented right-handed pitcher, was acquired by the Pirates in a trade with the New York Yankees in the 2020-2021 offseason. He has shown promise in the minor leagues earning himself a Top 100 ranking entering 2022 he became a Top 100 prospect. Obviously, fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates believe that he has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter at the Major League level.

One of the biggest issues facing the Pirates so far this season has been their starting pitchers' inability to keep runs off the board early in games.

Rich Hill and Johan Oviedo gave up a combined 8 runs in their first innings of work, and Mitch Keller gave up 1 on Opening Day. This is a problem and has been a problem since last season. Who is to blame, the pitchers, or is it pitching coach Oscar Marin?

The good news however, Contreras has demonstrated an ability to get off on the right foot and settle into a groove quickly. In his minor league career, he has a 2.61 ERA in the first inning, which bodes well for his ability to help the Pirates solve their early-game struggles. This is much needed so the offense is not trying to play catchup all season.

Furthermore, Contreras has a strong repertoire of pitches, including a fastball that can touch the upper 90s, a devastating slider, and a solid changeup. He has shown an ability to command his pitches well and to make adjustments on the fly, which should help him to navigate through tough lineups and keep opponents off balance.

In short, Pirates fans should be excited about Roansy Contreras even know he is pitching in the fifth spot. He has the potential to be a real difference-maker on the mound and to help the starting rotation turn things around in the early going of the 2023 season. With his impressive arsenal of pitches and ability to get off to strong starts, Contreras could be just what the Pirates need to get back on track and get off to more promising starts.