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Pirates All-40: Where Does Bailey Falter Fit in the Rotation?

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Bailey Falter

This is one in a series of stories breaking down members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster.

At this year’s trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded infielder Rodolfo Castro to the Philadelphia Phillies. In exchange for Castro, the Pirates acquired LHP Bailey Falter. 

Falter’s professional baseball journey began in June of 2015. During the fifth round of the draft, the Phillies drafted Falter out of Chino Hills High School in California.

During his tenure within the Phillies’ organization, Falter spent eight seasons in the minors. Falter’s journey throughout the minors was a slow track. 

Since his first year, Falter progressed one level each year, and when 2021 came around, Falter finally made his major league debut. On April 25 of that season, Falter debuted against the Colorado Rockies. In 2.0 innings pitched, the lefty allowed four hits, two earned runs, no walks, and struck out two. 

During his rookie season, Falter pitched in 33.2 innings while allowing six walks, striking out 34, and he posted an ERA of 5.61 in 22 games (one start). 

During the 2022 season, the Phillies used Falter sparingly, with several spot appearances. Usually, Falter would be optioned back down to Triple-A after most of his appearances.

In total, Falter appeared in 20 games (16 starts) in ’22. During his season in the majors, Falter held a 6-4 record with an ERA of 3.86 in 84 innings pitched. 

One of Falter’s main issues is his tendency to allow the long ball. In 2022, the lefty allowed 16 homers in 20 games, and the following season, he allowed 17 homers in 18 games. 

In ten games (40.1 innings pitched) with the Pirates, Falter allowed ten homers. In seven out of ten games, Falter allowed at least one long ball. 

During his last start of the season this past season, Falter allowed three homers to the Cincinnati Reds in a 13-12 Pirates’ win. After that start, Falter was placed on the injured list with a left neck strain. 

The Chino Hills native put forth arguably his best Pirates start on September 12 against the Washington Nationals. In 6.0 innings pitched, Falter allowed four hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out four. In addition, Falter earned his second win of the season. 

In Falter’s other win with the Pirates, he also pitched six innings while giving up one run against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Depending on how the Pirates pursue starting pitching this offseason, Falter seems like a logical option to battle for a spot in the rotation with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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