Analysis

The Pirates Have a New Way to Give Their Minor League Starters Some Bullpen Experience

Clay Holmes is a starter with Indianapolis, but his path to the majors will probably begin in the bullpen. Photo Credit: Tim Williams
The Pirates Have a New Way to Give Their Minor League Starters Some Bullpen Experience

INDIANAPOLIS / BRADENTON, Fla. / CHARLESTON, WV — Clay Holmes had not made a relief appearance in four years, last doing so at Class-A West Virginia.

The Pirates organization decided to change that this season.

Holmes skipped one of his scheduled starts earlier this year and instead pitched an inning out of the bullpen on the day he would have normally started. He walked one batter in a scoreless inning of relief, making for a rather innocuous appearance.

Only one pitcher currently on the Triple-A Indianapolis roster — Tyler Glasnow — has not made a relief appearance this season. Steven Brault, Tyler Eppler, Holmes, Drew Hutchison and Nick Kingham have all skipped at least one start in order to make a relief appearance.

That’s not a common practice throughout baseball. It has b...

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