PITTSBURGH — Steven Brault will start for the Pirates on Tuesday, making his first major-league appearance in a starting role in 2017.
It’s part of the Pirates’ ongoing trend of trying to get more young players into the mix toward the end of the season.
Brault has been in Pittsburgh in the bullpen, but the Pirates are still considering him as a starting prospect going forward, and he is looking forward to being able to show what he can do in that role at the major-league level after posting a 1.94 ERA with Triple-A Indianapolis.
“I think it’s nice getting into a role that I’ve done more often, especially facing the Cubs,” Brault said. “That’ll be three times in a row and I want to get my revenge for last time.”
Brault will have to deal with having been yanked out of his usual five-day starting routine with his trip to the bullpen, but he isn’t interested in using that as an excuse.
“It’s been a little different, but I feel like that’s just part of growing up and getting more mature,” he said. “For me, it’s about learning and having the right attitude. I can’t control what happens next year. So for me, I just want to get as much experience out of it as I can. Getting some starts will help that.”
But that will make evaluating his performance more difficult than usual, according to manager Clint Hurdle.
“I’m looking for him to go out and compete … throw strikes, get them swinging the bat, mix the fastball, slider and changeup, follow the glove,” Hurdle said. “I believe he can throw 80 pitches. He may able to throw more than that. It’s going to be about throwing strikes.”
While Brault hasn’t been able to experience starting yet in his time in the majors this season, he has gotten to spend some quality time in the major-league clubhouse with more experienced pitchers and the Pirates coaching staff.
“Ray (Searage) is awesome,” Brault said. “We have a lot of fun. It’s nice being able to be around all these guys, Euky (Rojas) and Herbie (Andrade), too. It’s awesome.”
Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco continue to work their way back from their injuries, but still do not have a time frame. … George Kontos threw a simulated game. He was originally scheduled to be activated on Wednesday, but is now scheduled to take that day off and be evaluated for Thursday.
Gm 139: #Pirates (66-72) vs Cubs (75-62)
Brault (5.93) vs Kyle Hendricks (3.32)
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) September 5, 2017