Derek Shelton has announced his five-man rotation for the regular season set. There’s no surprises in with four of the five in JT Brubaker, Mitch Keller, Zach Thompson and Jose Quintana. The fifth spot will go to Bryse Wilson, who edged out Wil Crowe and Dillon Peters for the final spot.
Brubaker will make his first career Opening Day start on Thursday in St. Louis. He will be followed by Keller, Wilson and then Thompson in the four-game series against the Cardinals. Jose Quintana will get the nod for the Bucs Home Opener on April 12.
Brubaker and Keller are the only two in the rotation who began the year with the Pirates in 2021. Pittsburgh is counting on both pitchers to take a step forward and help provide some stability. Wilson made eight starts for the Pirates last season after coming over from the Braves at the deadline. Thompson, acquired in the Jacob Stallings trade, pitched well for the Marlins last year, posting a 3.24 ERA/3.69 FIP in 26 games (14 starts). Quintana is the veteran of the staff having pitched 10 years with four different teams in his career. He was signed to a one-year deal this offseason.
It will be interesting to see how Shelton handles his starting pitchers, especially early in the season. The arms aren’t quite build up as they usually would have been with a regular spring training. Both Crowe and Peters, as well as some others, will be counted on to provide some extra innings in relief.