The Pittsburgh Pirates' prospect parade continues Monday when right-hander Quinn Priester will be promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis and make his major league debut to start the series opener against the visiting Cleveland Guardians
"It's a situation where he's continuing to get better and deserves to get an opportunity at the major league level. We're excited about that," Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said of Priester, the 18th overall pick in the 2019 draft.
A fifth spot in the Pittsburgh rotation was open with JT Brubaker and Vince Velasquez both out for the season with elbow injuries and Roansy Contreras and Luis Ortiz getting demoted recently after being ineffective.
"The sinker's been a big pitch for me, just to get ground balls in any situation," Priester said Sunday after arriving in Pittsburgh. "The slider, which I added during COVID, has paired off that sinker really well. And the curveball's been the same since I got drafted. That's been a really important pitch in my career."
The Pirates, who have settled into mediocrity at best since a hot April, have been promoting prospects as they build for the future
Priester follows fellow first-rounders Carmen Mlodzinski (2020), Nick Gonzales (2020) and Henry Davis (2021), plus Jared Triolo, Jose Hernandez, Osvaldo Bido, Cody Bolton and Drew Maggi, who have made their big-league debuts this year.
"I think it's important that our development process is working, because we're getting guys to the major league level and we're getting them opportunities -- some of them pretty rapidly -- which is important for us as we move forward," Shelton said.
In the meantime, Pittsburgh fell 8-4 in 10 innings on Sunday to get swept by the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series. The Pirates have lost 10 of their past 12 games
Cleveland, likewise, was just swept. The Guardians blew a late three-run lead on Sunday in a 6-5 loss to the Rangers in Arlington, Texas
It was their fourth straight loss overall after starting winning six of their first eight July games.
One bright spot was Cleveland outfielder Steven Kwan, who went 4-for-5 with a game-opening homer and three RBIs.
"It's just a lot of at-bats, and you get a good pitch to hit and it goes," Kwan said.
Cleveland got some positive news regarding right-hander Shane Bieber, although he won't be joining the Guardians in Pittsburgh. Manager Terry Francona said Bieber was headed back to Clevelan
Bieber went on the injured list on Saturday because of right elbow inflammation.
"He's going to be approximately two weeks no-throw," Francona said. "He'll be rechecked every week. It definitely looks like it's a nonsurgical way to go, which is good."
In Bieber's place, Monday's scheduled starter is right-hander Xzavion Curry (3-0, 3.04 ERA). His appearance could mean a bullpen game.
Although Curry was a starter in his only two major league games last season, he has been used only in relief this season. He had stints of five and four innings in April, but none longer than three innings since late April.
In his latest appearance, Curry pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday in Texas. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
Curry has never faced Pittsburgh.
--Field Level Media