It’s official. Mitch Keller will be on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates for Opening Day against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on March 30.
It’s the first career Opening Day start for the 26-year-old.
Keller is coming off of his best season as a big leaguer in 2022, finishing the year with a 3.91 ERA in 31 appearances/29 starts. The right-hander struck out 138 batters in 159.0 innings, both of which were career-highs.
The solid year on the mound was a long time coming for the former top prospect. The 2014 second-round pick peaked as high as the 16th-best prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.
So far this spring, Keller has a 4.08 ERA in his first four outings. He has struck out 13 and only walked one in 11.0 innings pitched.
Keller will square off with Reds right-hander Hunter Greene, who was announced as Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter.
Below, you can watch the moment manager Derek Shelton informed Keller that he will be the club’s Opening Day starting pitcher.
The moment Mitch found out is everything. 🥲 pic.twitter.com/oZJgThZjP2
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 15, 2023