This is a disappointing, if potentially short-term development for the Pirates’ young right-hander. Keller is still just 25-years-old, but he’s had a rough go of it on the hill in 2021. In 12 starts, Keller has been tagged for a 7.04 ERA across 47 1/3 innings. A 4.95 FIP and .355 BABIP points to some bad luck for Keller this season. He has a 22.4 percent strikeout rate and 12.7 percent walk rate, and while both numbers are below-average, they do represent an improvement over his 2020 output.
Per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, manager Derek Shelton said, “Mitch Keller is going to be a good major league pitcher. When young players, young pitchers have struggles, it’s our job to come up with a program and a plan to help them get back to this level and be successful at this level. That’s what we’re doing with Mitch.”
Cahill has similarly been dealt some hard luck as the veteran has posted a 6.57 ERA, but just 4.04 FIP across 37 innings. In the short term, Wil Crowe will step into Cahill’s spot in the rotation. The former Nationals’ farmhand has eight appearances on the season (seven starts) with a 7.26 ERA/6.12 FIP across 31 innings.
Geoff Hartlieb has also been recalled, notes John Dreker of Piratesbaseball.com. The 27-year-old has just one appearance this season, though he posted a 3.63 ERA in 22 1/3 innings of work last season.