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Pirates Prospects Daily: Cody Bolton To Work Out Of the Bullpen In 2023

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The further we get into camp, the clearer things get about how certain players will be used during the upcoming season.

We found out that Bubba Chandler would focus solely on pitching for the upcoming season, looking to focus on the part of the game most believe he has the brightest future doing. 

Now it appears that Cody Bolton will pitch out of the bullpen for the 2023 season after splitting time between there and the rotation last year.

He made his first appearance in Spring Training on Friday, pitching an inning while striking out two batters.

After not pitching since 2019, Bolton returned to the mound in 2022, putting together a solid season, especially for not pitching in a couple of years. Making 30 appearances last year, 14 of which were starts, Bolton posted a 3.09 ERA, while striking out 82 battings across 75.2 innings.

His walks were on the high side (12.4 BB%), and his HR/FB% was on the low side, meaning there could be regression, especially with a fly ball rate of over 40%. His xFIP of 4.85 kind of spoke to that.

The bullpen could really be a spark for him though, allowing him to work in shorter stints, and maintain his velocity. There were some outings as a starter where his velocity dropped deeper into games. He did miss some time with COVID, so that likely didn’t help too much either.

It was easy to forget about Bolton heading into the 2022 season without having eyes on him for so long. There was a time when he was one of the best pitching prospects in the system. 

While that’s not the case anymore, he does the skillset to potentially carve out a spot in the bullpen, maybe this season and could even become a multi-inning reliever almost in a Wil Crowe type role.

Henry Davis HBP, Again

This is starting to sound like some sort of bad joke at this point, as it was yet another game where Henry Davis was hit by a pitch.

I talked about how it really felt like the only thing holding him back last season was the injuries, as he has a great approach at the plate. He’s missed a lot of time since being drafted to injuries and needs to be on the field to continue his development.

So seeing him get hit by another pitch in spring training is less than ideal. He is one of nine players in baseball to be hit multiple times this year already. 

Whether it’s an adjustment in the batters box, or in-between the ears, something needs to change. No matter the position, it’s his bat that gives him the best chance to make an impact in Pittsburgh, but can’t do that if he keeps getting it.

But hey, he get’s on base, right?

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. Every Saturday, John Dreker will preview a different draft prospect for the pick. This week begins with the number one prospect in the draft, LSU outfielder Dylan Crews.

Spring Training Recap: Phillies 4, Pirates 3

Pirates DVR: Rich Hill Slider, Kyle Nicolas, Carmen Mlodzinski

**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at how MLB Pipeline graded the outfield depth.

Song of the Day

TODAY’S LINEUP

Pirates are at home today against the Minnesota Twins, with a 1:05 PM start time. The game is televised.

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Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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