Brault was sent down to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic Pittsburgh reports.
Brault was booted to the bullpen after a disappointing April but didn't fare much better than and has now been removed from the roster entirely. He could be back in the big leagues at some point later in the season but his 4.93 ERA and 14.6 percent walk rate give little reason to believe he'll be a fantasy asset. Dovydas Neverauskas will take his spot on the roster.
Brault has been moved to the bullpen, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic Pittsburgh reports.
Brault has struggled through five starts this season, compiling a 5.54 ERA and 15:14 K:BB through 26 innings while making it into the sixth inning just once, so the Pirates opted to shift him to a relief role. Nick Kingham, who carried a perfect game into the seventh inning in his major-league debut Sunday, will take Brault's place in the starting rotation.
Brault appears likely to surrender his spot in the rotation this week Kingham wasn't optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis following a start Sunday against the Cardinals, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic Pittsburgh reports.
Prior to Sunday's series finale, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was reluctant to commit to Brault receiving another turn through the rotation after the lefty submitted a 5.54 ERA and 1.38 WHIP while reaching six innings just once in his previous five starts. Per Adam Berry of MLB.com, Hurdle indicated that the Pirates were still "working through some things" regarding their rotation plans, though the skipper acknowledged Trevor Williams would move ahead of Brault in the pitching schedule. It now looks like Brault's next appearance will come out of the bullpen or at Triple-A Indianapolis after Kingham, who was only expected to make a one-time start after a doubleheader days earlier necessitated a temporary sixth starter, turned in a historic MLB debut. Kingham carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with nine strikeouts in the shutout win, prompting the Pirates to keep him with the team as it traveled to Washington for Monday's series opener with the Nationals. The Pirates haven't officially appointed Kingham to the rotation, but expect an announcement on that front in the coming days, which should simultaneously provide clarity on Brault's role within the organization.
Brault didn't factor into the decision in Friday's extra-inning win over the Cardinals, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and three walks over 4.2 innings while striking out three.
The left-hander threw only 47 of 82 pitches for strikes as he failed to complete six innings for the fifth time in six starts. Brault now sports a 4.97 ERA and 18:15 K:BB in 29 innings, making him a risky fantasy option heading into Wednesday's road outing against the Nationals.
Brault completed 5.1 innings Saturday against the Phillies, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four. He did not factor into the decision.
Brault seemed to be effectively wild in Saturday's matchup, as he threw just over half his pitches for strikes, yet felt little offensive pressure from the Phillies' offense. He wound up being tagged with two runs allowed after the bullpen gave up a three-run homer to Rhys Hoskins immediately after Brault left the game, but all in all, Brault pitched fine. His lack of command likely won't bode so well in future starts, though. His next start will come Friday against St. Louis.
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