Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates Tinkering More with Rotation Kingham's Exit Creates Opening

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates Tinkering More with Rotation Kingham's Exit Creates Opening

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wasn't ready to announce a starter for Saturday before the start of a four-game series Thursday night against the San Diego Padres.

Hurdle did confirm that Nick Kingham is returning to the bullpen. Kingham gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his most recent start.

"The four-pitch mix at times plays well," Hurdle said. "We need more an aggressive nature and more command and execution. Maybe backing him off for one or two inning stints or three innings at the max and going one time through the lineup could help."

Kingham's return to the bullpen leaves the Pirates with a couple of options for Saturday. The team could pitch Steven Brault, who gave up two home runs, nine hits, two walks and six earned runs against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday in his previous start.

It was expected for either Brault or Kingham to return to the bullpen with Chris Archer coming back to the rotation Wednesday. Hurdle didn't give many details, but he provided another possibility.

"We have a couple of different options. It may be Brault or it may be an opener," Hurdle said.

The Padres have a .223/.293/.445 slash line against left-handers in 293 plate appearances in 2019, which could lead to Hurdle using Brault, who is a left-hander, as the starter.

"When you look at you set the rotation up I'd like to have a lefty in the lineup," Hurdle said. "There are teams based on their composition where you can gain an advantage to throw a left-handed pitcher against them. It could be a pivotal point in a series to throw a lefty against a team that has struggled against left-handers"

Francisco Liriano also is a left-hander and hasn't pitched since pitching two scoreless innings Tuesday against Arizona. Assuming the Pirates don't need him out of the bullpen, he may be an option as an opener. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.