Pittsburgh Pirates: These Three Pitchers Can Not Start 2024 in the Starting Rotation

Ben Cherington needs to be busy adding starting pitching help this offseason

Sep 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Andre Jackson (41) pitches
Sep 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Andre Jackson (41) pitches / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Quinn Priester

Former first-round pick Quinn Priester made his MLB debut last July. Unfortunately for Priester and the Pirates, his time in the majors would prove to be nothing sort of disastrous. Something that was predictable based on him trending in the wrong direction on prospect boards since the start of the 2021 season.

After struggling, Priester was optioned back to the minors. He would then return to the majors in September. All told, he pitched 50 innings in 10 appearances, 8 of which were starts. Priester posted a 7.74 ERA, 6.74 FIP, 11.5% walk rate, and just a 15.4% strikeout rate in his 10 outings.

Priester got hit hard by opposing batters. He allowed 58 hits, an alarming 12 home runs (2.16 HR/9), and a .284 opposing batting average. Opposing batters had an 8.3% barrel rate and a 47.0% hard-hit rate off of Priester, both of which are well above what the league average allowed is for each.

Now, this is not to say Priester can't improve in the majors. Will he ever be the top of the rotation arm the Pirates hoped for when he was drafted 18th overall in 2019? No, no he will not be. That said, some time in Triple-A where Priester could work on things may allow him to become a serviceable back of the rotation arm in the majors. But he absolutely can not start the 2024 season in the Pirate starting rotation if they are serious about contending.