Pittsburgh Pirates Set to Host Toronto Blue Jays in Grapefruit League Opener

Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day
Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to LECOM Park as they kick off their 2023 Grapefruit League schedule

After a long winter, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be playing baseball on Saturday afternoon. Even though it is not the regular season quite yet, folks, we have made it to baseball season. Congratulations on surviving another offseason.

Mitch Keller is slated to toe the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 2023 Grapefruit League opener on Saturday afternoon. Keller is set to fire the first pitch at LECOM Park at 1:05 PM ET as the Pirates welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Bradenton.

Keller is coming off a 2022 season that saw him finally put it all together as a MLB pitcher. In 31 appearances, 29 of which were starts, both of which were career highs, the righty pitched a career high 159.0 innings. Keller posted a career low 3.91 ERA, to go with a 3.88 FIP, 8.7% walk rate, 20.1% strikeout rate, and a 2.1 WAR.

Getting the ball on Saturday to start the Grapefruit League season could be a preview of the regular season for Keller. The 26-year-old Keller is the likely frontrunner to get the ball on Opening Day in Cincinnati on March 30th.

After a slow start last season Keller put together a strong 22 start stretch to finish the campaign. Keller posted a 3.22 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 8.8% walk rate, 20.7% strikeout rate, and a 0.67 HR/9 while pitching 120.1 innings in these 22 starts.

This will be the first of 31 Grapefruit League games the Pittsburgh Pirates will play this spring. Saturday afternoon's contest can be watched on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, as well as be broadcast on the Pirate Radio Network. The game can also be streamed on the MLB App as well as on MLB.tv.

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