The Pirates are set to activate right-hander Mitch Keller from the injured list in advance of tomorrow’s doubleheader against the Reds, manager Derek Shelton told reporters (including Adam Berry of MLB.com). He’ll get the start for one of those games.
The 14-29 Pirates have long been buried in the National League’s postseason field. Nevertheless, it’ll be nice to get a handful of starts from Keller down the stretch, as the 24-year-old is a critical part of the organization’s future. The former top prospect only has a 6.63 ERA in his first 55.2 MLB innings, but his 3.77 FIP hints at the mid-rotation upside for which he’s long been lauded.
While Keller entered 2020 looking like a potential breakout candidate, he’s been limited to just two starts by left side discomfort. Out since August 2, he’s now seemingly in line for three more starts to stake a claim to a spot in Pittsburgh’s 2021 rotation. There should be ample opportunity for Keller to pitch himself back into that mix. Joe Musgrove profiles as one of the league’s more likely trade candidates this offseason, while Chris Archer is a good bet to be cut loose on the heels of thoracic outlet surgery. Trevor Williams has struggled, while Chad Kuhl’s solid 3.38 ERA comes with much shakier peripherals.