Much of Thursday’s game followed the same trend. Only this time it didn’t include a strong start from the Pittsburgh Pirates starter, Zach Thompson.
Pirates bats came to life in the 9th only to fall short by one run.
Cal Mitchell had one of his best games in his short Pirates career. Mitchell collected a career high three hits in the game including his third HR of the season.
If Jose Quintana isn’t traded before the game Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, then THIS could be his final start in a Pirates uniform.
Quintana’s veteran presence would be a loss, but the additional consequences of losing a veteran starter like him could be felt.
The Pirates have leaned on their bullpen very heavily this season, particularly on long relief arms.
Through 99 games, the Pirates have five relievers — six if you count Chase De Jong, but he is currently injured — that project to crack 60 IP this season. Numbers are from an Excel spreadsheet I created, so I’m rounding to the nearest full inning.
- Wil Crowe – 87 IP
- David Bednar – 74 IP
- Dillon Peters – 70 IP
- Chris Stratton – 66 IP
- Duane Underwood Jr. – 62 IP
- *Chase De Jong – 63 IP (Currently on IL)
These are also only including MLB innings. Peters, Underwood, and De Jong spent time in the minors this season whether because of rehab or began the season in Indianapolis. Including MiLB innings, even Yerry De Los Santos is projected to throw nearly 60 innings.
Of the six listed above Chris Stratton is the only reliever roughly averaging an inning per appearance.
Bednar, Crowe, Underwood, and Stratton currently average an appearance every 2.5 games. Where Peters is an appearance around every three games, and De Jong was closer to every four games.
Going back in time, it isn’t all that rare to have multiple relievers throwing 60-70+ IP in consecutive seasons while maintaining effectiveness. The previous front office actually had success with a handful of them: Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon to name a few. During the Pirates last period of contending for playoffs, they generally had 4-5 relievers throwing 60+ innings in a season, and at times a couple over 70 IP.
Would losing Quintana lead to an uptick in their innings if they Pirates are then having to rely on less experienced starters? Is Underwood Jr’s injury history of concern going forward?
In the end I’m still very pro trading and replacing relievers. Maybe hold on to two that you trust the most, and use the rest as trade assets.
Phillies @ Pirates
Time: 7:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Jose Quintana (3-5, 3.70)
Phillies Starter: Bailey Falter (0-3, 5.18)
Quintana Notes: His last time out, Jose Quintana tossed seven scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins, while striking out four batters. Quintana will be making his 20th start of the season, and could eclipsed 100 IP in a season for the first time tomorrow since 2019. He is also carrying a 3.70 ERA that would be his lowest since 2016.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 29, 2022
1. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
2. Rhys Hoskins (R) 1B
3. Alec Bohm (R) 3B
4. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
5. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
6. Matt Vierling (R) LF
7. Yairo Munoz (R) 2B
8. Odubel Herrera (L) CF
9. Johan Camargo (S) SS