Keller gave up one run in 7.1 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, striking out six while allowing six hits and no walks.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Keller receive a promotion shortly after the 10-day period following his June 18 demotion ends. His performance Monday was encouraging as he didn't issue a walk. Keller, who has relied on fastball usage for 64.3 percent of his pitches in three MLB starts, may look to vary his repertoire upon his return to the majors. His fantasy stock has likely trended lower following a 10.25 ERA with Pittsburgh, but his pedigree and minor-league success suggest he might be a good buy-low candidate.
Keller was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
With Trevor Williams (side) returning from the injured list Wednesday, Keller is no longer needed in the big-league rotation. The 23-year-old prospect has struggled in a trio of starts for the Pirates this season, posting a 10.50 ERA, 2.25 WHIP and 15:6 K:BB in 12 innings. Keller owns a solid 3.10 ERA and 74:25 K:BB in 58 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis this season, so he should get another shot with the big club later this season.
Keller allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks across five innings in a no-decision against the Tigers on Tuesday.
He pitched much better, but the Pirates' defense really hurt Keller in this one. The Pirates made three errors in the first four innings, including two in the fourth, which led to two unearned runs. Fortunately, Pittsburgh came back to tie the game in the seventh, so Keller avoided the loss. Still, he pitched so poorly in his first two outings that he is 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, .389 batting average against and 15 strikeouts in 12 innings across three starts to begin his major-league career. In all likelihood, Keller will return to the minors this week with Trevor Williams (side) and Jordan Lyles (hamstring) both expected back soon.
Keller will start at home against the Tigers on Tuesday, general manager Neal Huntington said on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh.
Keller has surrendered 12 earned runs in seven innings in his first two starts, including nine first-inning runs. While Huntington confirmed Keller's Tuesday start during his Sunday radio show, he also mentioned that Trevor Williams (side) will return Wednesday and Jordan Lyles (hamstring) won't spend much more time on the injured list. As a result, Keller could face a demotion regardless of how he fares Tuesday.
Keller didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to Atlanta, coughing up six runs on 10 hits and two walks over three innings while striking out two.
The right-hander's second big-league start of the season went even worse than his first one did, but the Bucs took Keller off the hook for a loss when they tied things up in the sixth inning. He's now saddled with a 15.43 ERA in Pittsburgh despite his 3.10 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 74:25 K:BB through 58 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis, and the 23-year-old simply doesn't look ready for prime time.
Keller was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis ahead of his scheduled start Wednesday against the Braves.
As expected, Keller is set to rejoin the big-league rotation Wednesday with Jordan Lyles (hamstring) and Rookie Davis (finger) both landing on the injured list within the past week. The young right-hander struggled in his major-league debut at the end of May, allowing six runs on seven hits in four innings against the Reds, though his seven strikeouts in that outing are likely a better indication of his overall skills. In his past two starts for Triple-A Indianapolis, Keller compiled a 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 18:5 K:BB in 11 innings of work. Montana DuRapau was sent to the minors to free up a roster spot for Keller.
The Pirates will recall Keller from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Wednesday's game against the Braves, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
Keller's promotion won't become official until a few hours before the game, but his return to the big leagues was fully expected after the Pirates lost two rotation arms in Jordan Lyles (hamstring) and Rookie Davis (finger) to the injured list in recent days. Though the right-hander endured a bumpy MLB debut back on May 27 against the Reds, he's still viewed as one the top young arms in the Pirates' system and rebounded nicely upon returning to Triple-A. In his last outing with Indianapolis over the weekend, Keller needed only five innings to rack up a career-high 13 strikeouts.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Keller is "in the conversation" to join the big club and start Wednesday's game against the Braves, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Keller's first big-league start back on May 27 in Cincinnati didn't go especially well and earned him a return trip to Triple-A Indianapolis, but he's responded well to the demotion. In his two turns since returning to the minors, Keller has allowed two runs over 11 innings, which included a career-high 13-strikeout performance his last time out Friday. With the Pirates moving fifth starter Rookie Davis (finger) to the 10-day injured list, Keller probably profiles as the best internal option to fill the void in the rotation in Atlanta, though Huntington noted that he's also considering pitchers outside the organization to make a spot start.
Keller whiffed a career-best 13 batters in five innings Friday for Triple-A Indianapolis. He gave up just one hit and three walks.
He could start for the Pirates on Wednesday unless the team chooses to go with an opener against Atlanta. While it's possible the organization could keep Keller at Triple-A a bit longer due to Super 2 Arbitration concerns, it's apparent that his upside dwarfs that of any replacement pitcher currently on Pittsburgh's roster. The righty allowed six runs in the first inning of his MLB debut against Cincinnati on May 27, but rebounded with three shutout frames thereafter.
Keller was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Keller struggled in his major-league debut, yielding six runs over four innings of work. Richard Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Keller (0-1) took the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over four innings in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Keller got off to a rough start, giving up six runs (including a grand slam) in his first inning of work. Following the nightmare inning, the right-hander managed to settle down and only surrendered one hit the rest of the way. Keller was called up prior to the game for Montana DuRapau, though it remains to be seen if Keller will remain in the big leagues following a rough debut. Since Nick Kingham started the first game of the doubleheader, he's also a candidate to get the nod Saturday against the Brewers, when Keller's next turn would come up.
The Pirates confirmed that Keller would be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to start the second game of Monday's doubleheader Monday against the Reds.
Pittsburgh will presumably designate Keller as the 26th man for the doubleheader, but the right-hander could avoid a trip back to Indianapolis with a solid performance in his MLB debut. With Trevor Williams (side) recently joining Jameson Taillon (elbow) on the injured list, the Pirates are down to only three established healthy starters. Nick Kingham (8.76 ERA, 1.99 WHIP in 24.2 innings) and Steven Brault (7.11 ERA, 1.74 WHIP in 25.1 innings) have both been major disappointments in long relief and as spot starters/primary pitchers this season, so Keller probably won't have a high bar to clear to stick around with the big club.
Keller will be called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start in Monday's doubleheader against the Reds, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports.
General manager Neal Huntington indicated last week the organization still wanted to see Keller further develop his new slider/cutter, but apparently he's now ready for his major-league debut. The 23-year-old has a 3.45 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 56:20 K:BB through nine starts with Indianapolis this season.
The Pirates have considered recalling Keller but would like him to first develop his new slider/cutter pitch, general manager Neal Huntington told 93.7 The Fan on Sunday.
Three of Keller's last four starts have gone well, but the organization is looking for better consistency from the righty. The organization may not believe Keller has the tools to succeed at the major-league level with just two reliable pitches (his fastball and curve). The 22-year-old was dreadful in three Grapefruit League outings this spring, surrendering 10 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks without striking out a batter in four innings. Keller has compiled a 3.83 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 50:19 K:BB in 40 Triple-A innings in 2019.
Keller had his start at Triple-A Indianapolis scheduled for Sunday pushed back to Tuesday, Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic reports.
The change in schedule was not related to an injury, and the Pirates need a starter for Wednesday's game against Colorado. The 23-year-old prospect has been working on developing a slider at Triple-A Indianapolis, but he could be deemed ready to join the big-league club. He's managed only a 3.83 ERA and 1.50 WHIP this season but has shown improved command of late, walking six in his last 20 innings of work.
Keller isn't an immediate candidate for recall as the organization would like him to focus on adding a new pitch (a slider/cutter) to his repertoire at the Triple-A level, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
"He's gaining some confidence in it (the slider/cutter) and some willingness to use it in key situations," general manager Neal Huntington said. Pittsburgh will start Steven Brault and Nick Kingham on Tuesday and Wednesday, and hope to have Chris Archer back in a week. Keller, who's totaled 16 starts at the Triple-A level, has struggled with his control (14 walks in 31 innings) but posted a 16:2 K:BB in his last two games. "Keller is making great strides," Huntington said. "His last two starts are really reasons for us to continue to be optimistic about Mitch." For the season, the 23-year-old has registered a 3.48 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. More than ever, it seems likely he'll be up before September -- provided he continues to show improved control and command.
Keller allowed three runs (two earned) in 4.2 innings in his Triple-A season debut. He gave up three hits and five walks, striking out six.
The top prospect carried over a disappointing Grapefruit League showing (10 earned runs in four innings) with continued inconsistent control Friday. Keller needed 90 pitches to navigate less than five innings, throwing only 51 pitches for strikes. His five free passes tied a career high. Opportunity knocks for the right-hander in 2019, but he'll need to demonstrate better control. In 2018, Keller's walk rate jumped from 3.4 BB/9 (Double-A) to 3.8 BB/9 (Triple-A), though the 23-year-old was pitching at the Triple-A level for the first time.
The Pirates optioned Keller to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.
The Pirates' top pitching prospect always looked destined to open 2019 in the minors with the front office only considering Jordan Lyles, Steven Brault and Nick Kingham for the final spot in the Opening Day rotation. None of the trio will be assured a starting gig all season, however, so Keller could easily push his way into the Pirates' rotation plans with a strong showing at Triple-A early on. The 22-year-old had a rough go of the International League in 2018, supplying a 4.82 ERA and 1.55 WHIP across 10 starts.
Keller was tagged for four runs in two innings Friday, giving up four hits (including two homers) and one walk while striking out one, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
He's given up 10 runs in four innings and hasn't looked like a prospect ready for a quick promotion to the major leagues. "If anything else, it'll give him an edge, a chip on his shoulder," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Nobody likes to go out and not have success, but I think it will give him increased focus going into his 3A season." The 22-year-old has made only 10 starts at the Triple-A level and will likely spend a good chunk of the summer honing his craft with Indianapolis.
Keller struggled for the second time in two outings Sunday, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. He didn't strike out a batter.
Pittsburgh's top pitching prospect was scheduled to hurl two innings, but he was only able to get through one frame on 29 pitches. Keller has surrendered six earned runs in two innings and has yet to strike anyone out. Fortunately for fantasy owners, he's demonstrated a history of improvement after initially struggling at higher levels. The 22-year-old will likely receive another outing or two to bounce back before Pittsburgh's veteran starters begin appearing in Grapefruit League action.
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