The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted left-handed pitching prospect Steven Brault to Altoona. Brault was one of two pitchers who was acquired for Travis Snider at the start of the year, along with West Virginia left-hander Stephen Tarpley. A rotation spot was recently opened up in Altoona with the promotion of Angel Sanchez, and this fills that spot.

Brault posted a 3.02 ERA in 65.2 innings with Bradenton this year, along with a 45:21 K/BB ratio. He worked mostly with a two-seam fastball that sat in the upper 80s, but had a ton of movement. The pitch runs in on right handers, but also has late cut when it reaches the plate. It arrives at the knees, then drops off the table at the last second, making it extremely difficult to square up against. The pitch led to a 51% ground ball rate for the lefty this season. He also has a good changeup that has some cutting movement, giving him a good chance to stick as a starter.

Brault did have some experience in High-A before this season, posting an 0.55 ERA in 16.1 innings over three starts last year in Baltimore’s system, with a 9:2 K/BB ratio. He’s not a hard thrower, but he’s got good command, and has a lot of deception with his stuff.

Bradenton just added Tyler Eppler to their rotation, which moved Frank Duncan to the bullpen. Expect them to add Clay Holmes soon. He pitched four innings for the first time today, and should have at least two more rehab outings in the GCL before he’s ready to head across town to join the Marauders. I’d expect Duncan back in the rotation until that happens.

Jin-De Jhang has been added back to the active roster, after missing some time with a minor leg injury.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Well deserved – he has pitched well after a rough start in April. I guess he has passed up Dickson, who is still struggling.

  2. Tim is going to pummel me for this but since I don’t have the pleasure of watching these guys pitch, who would you compare him to? Would Joely be a fair comparison? Rodriguez threw a little harder right? What I’m trying to get to in a roundabout way is at his best, what could Brault become? A back end starter? 7th inning guy? I’d take either. Just curious.

    • No expert, but I am not sure we have had a SP with his profile come up through the system in a while. Similar in stuff to a Paul Maholm or a Zach Duke moreso than a Rodriguez. Those guys were obviously a little better and more polished than Brault at this point, but I can’t remember the last “pitchability” lefty the Pirates have had in the upper minors. Rudy Owens maybe?

      • I hate to box this guy in with the soft tossing lefty with good movement label so I’m trying to figure out a comparison I suppose. Shame about Rudy Owens. I was always rooting for him.

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