PITTSBURGH (AP) — Top pitching prospect Mitch Keller will make his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a doubleheader Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
The 23-year-old Keller is being called upon to help a depleted rotation that has struggled without injured Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams. He'll start the nightcap after Nick Kingham pitches the opener.
The Pirates have been reluctant to rush Keller to the big leagues. He struggled in spring training but regained some confidence in Triple-A, where he's 5-0 with 47 strikeouts in his last seven starts after adding a slider/cutter to his pitch arsenal.
"In a perfect world, we would've given him some more time," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday. "We're not in a perfect world. We feel like he's ready to come up here and compete."