Pittsburgh Pirates: Starting Pitching Struggles & More Takeaways From Embarrassing Series Loss vs A's

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Roansy Cotnreras needs to figure something out

Last year at this time all signs pointed toward Roansy Contreras being a budding top of the rotation arm for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After largely pitching well last season, Contreras entered 2023 with high expectations. Well, so far, he has not even come close to meeting those expectations.

Wednesday was just the latest in a string of poor outings for Contreras. Facing one of the worst MLB lineups you will ever see, the righy only got one out before being pulled out of the game. Contreras velocity was down, he routinely missed spots with two strikes, and struggled with control.

After getting ahead of each of the first two batters of the game 0-2, Contreras issued a walk and hung a pitch that was ripped for a single. It all went downhill from there. Contreras was charged with 7 runs on six hits, two walks, and a strikeout.

On the season Contreras now owns a 5.91 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 10.1% walk rate, just a 17.4% strikeout rate, and he's allowed home runs at a 1.12 HR/9 clip. When you considering the lineup he was facing, the start from Contreras on Wednesday was probably the worst I have ever witnessed from a MLB pitcher.

Something needs done with Contreras. Having him take his next turn in the starting rotation would only be doing him and the team both a disservice. Maybe it's a stint on the injured list. Maybe it's a trip to Triple-A to try and workout his fastball woes. Perhaps it's a trip to the bullpen for awhile. Regardless of what's done, the Pirates have to figure something out with Contreras.