The Pirates announced this afternoon that they’ve optioned righty Nick Kingham back to Triple-A Indianapolis. The 26-year-old was the talk of baseball when he took a perfect game into the seventh inning in his MLB debut, though his second start (four runs in 5 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts against one walk) offered more mixed results. Kingham’s spot in the rotation will likely go to Joe Musgrove, who is nearing a return from the DL, though more immediately, his roster spot is going to infielder Jose Osuna, who has been recalled from Triple-A. Chad Kuhl’s strong weekend outing likely bought him some additional length on his leash, but it still seems likely that Kingham will be starting games for the Pirates again at some point in 2018, whether due to injury or poor performance from one of the club’s other young starters.
Here’s more from the division…
- Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters today that in spite of his considerable struggles, left Brandon Finnegan would make his next scheduled start (Twitter link via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic). Finnegan, 25, has been hammered for 19 earned runs on 27 hits (five homers) and 15 walks against 14 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings so far in 2018. He hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any of his starts this season and has allowed three or more runs each time he’s taken the mound. There was plenty of debate as to whether Finnegan was best suited as a starter or reliever even prior to Cincinnati’s acquisition of him in the 2015 Johnny Cueto blockbuster with the Royals, and he’s yet to establish himself as a viable rotation piece at the game’s top level. Rosecrans notes that Riggleman wouldn’t commit to anything beyond his next outing, so it’s possible that Finnegan’s leash is running out. Finnegan does have minor league options remaining for this season and next.
- Some Brewers fans have clamored for a promotion of infield prospect Mauricio Dubon, who has a 23-game hitting streak going in Triple-A, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Dubon incurred a knee injury over the weekend and is headed to Milwaukee to be examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch. Farm director Tom Flanagan tells Haudricourt that the hope is that Dubon is dealing only with a strain, though the organization won’t know until further testing and imaging is performed. Dubon suffered the injury while executing a rundown in Saturday’s game. Acquired alongside Travis Shaw in the Tyler Thornburg deal with the Red Sox, Dubon is hitting .343/.348/.574 with four homers and six steals in 114 plate appearances this season.