BRADENTON, Fla. – Nick Kingham made the start today against the Blue Jays at LECOM Park, going three innings and giving up one run. As far as options for the Opening Day rotation, Kingham is low on the depth chart. But that might not necessarily mean he’s destined for Triple-A at the start of the year.
The Opening Day rotation projects to include the four returning starters — Jameson Taillon, Ivan Nova, Chad Kuhl, and Trevor Williams — plus the recently added Joe Musgrove.
The Pirates are also looking at the idea of having Tyler Glasnow and Steven Brault pitch out of the bullpen as depth options, or ready to step in if a starter goes down in Spring Training. That’s similar to the role Trevor Williams played last year.
Based on the comments today from Clint Hurdle, it sounds like Nick Kingham could be competing for a similar role.
“We’ve told him to come in here and compete,” Hurdle said. “We’ll figure that all out as we go. He’s another guy that can pitch multiple innings out of the pen. If something out of our hands would happen — I think there was a year in Colorado where late in the spring we lost three starting pitchers. You want to talk about rearranging your rotation with a week to go. Nick, Brault, Glasnow, they’re all in that prepare to start, get your mindset right, and if it’s multiple innings out of the bullpen, if something falls that way, it can fall that way. But no, we didn’t tell Nick that he’s going to Triple-A the moment he walked in the door.”
My guess is that it would take an injury for Kingham to make the team. The current bullpen would have Felipe Rivero, Michael Feliz, and George Kontos, plus Glasnow and Brault. That leaves two spots open, with one of them likely to go to a lefty. Kingham could compete for the final spot, but his chances go up if there’s an injury to one of the top seven starting options.
I’ll have more on Kingham tomorrow, after talking with him a bit this afternoon.
When Will Dickerson and Siegrist Debut?
The Pirates added outfielder Corey Dickerson a week ago, and added left-hander Kevin Siegrist a few days later, although honestly it feels like a month since either of those moves took place.
Hurdle was asked today when he expects them to get into action.
“This spring,” Hurdle started, followed by a pause. “That’s my answer: This spring.”
Hurdle then expanded, on each player’s situation. Dickerson is delayed due to being shut down for a week after the DFA and the birth of his child. He’s taken live BP a few times, and has been working to build up his arm strength for the outfield.
Siegrist threw a live BP, and has another one coming up. After that, the team will have a conversation with him about the next steps.
Neither player would be at risk of missing the start of the season at this point.
Siegrist Contract Info
Jerry Crasnick had details on Kevin Siegrist’s minor league deal, saying it pays $1.5 M if he’s added to the roster.
Kevin Siegrist, who signed a minor league deal with the #Pirates last week, can earn $1.5M if he makes the big league roster. His deal includes two opt-outs if he’s not added to 25-man roster. He can also earn $500K in incentives based on games pitched.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) March 1, 2018
I think he will make the Opening Day roster, so you can pretty much pencil in another $1.5 M to the payroll, and bump the estimate up to $85 M.