Brault agreed to a one-year, $2.05 million contract with the Pirates on Friday, avoiding arbitration.
The 28-year-old southpaw logged a career-best 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 21.3 percent strikeout rate last season. He had never posted an ERA south of 4.61 prior to 2020, and he still walked far too many batters (12.4 percent), so regression seems to be in order.
Brault hurled seven shutout innings against the Cubs on Tuesday, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out six in a 3-2 win.
He left with a two-run lead, only to see reliever Sam Howard promptly give up a game-tying homer to Anthony Rizzo. Brault closes out his 2020 campaign pitching his best baseball, limiting opponents to one earned run in 16 innings over his final two starts. According to AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh announcer John Wehner, Brault did not allow an extra-base hit off his fastball all season long (42.2 innings).
Brault (1-3) earned the win against St. Louis on Thursday, hurling nine innings and allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out eight.
The impressive performance was easily the best of the season for Brault, who went the distance for the first time in his career and racked up a season-high eight strikeouts. The only hits he allowed came in the third inning, when St. Louis pushed across a run on a walk and a pair of singles. Brault needed an efficient 110 pitches to make it through nine frames and held the first four batters in the Cardinals' order to a 1-for-15 mark with six strikeouts. He'll try to carry over the momentum from Thursday's outing into a home matchup against the Cubs on Tuesday.
Brault (0-3) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks Friday, as the Pirates fell to the Royals 4-3. He struck out six.
Brault once again struggled with command, bringing his season totals to just 24 strikeouts versus 17 walks. Friday's outing raised his season ERA to 4.73. His next start will likely come next week against Cincinnati, who he held to three runs over 4.2 innings on Sept. 4.
Brault (0-2) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out six over 4.2 innings as he was charged with the loss in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Brault hasn't picked up many decisions over seven starts this season, but he struggled to contain the Reds on Friday and was charged with his second loss of the year. He now carries a 4.37 ERA over 22.2 innings this season. His next start should come on the road next Friday against the Royals.
Brault will start against the Reds on Friday afternoon in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
He has enjoyed surprising success against Cincinnati, going 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 31.2 innings. Brault has started in six of his seven appearances in 2020 and has pitch five innings just one time, so his pitch efficiency will likely determine his success Friday.
Brault allowed an unearned run on three hits and a walk across three innings in Sunday's 5-1 win over the Brewers. He struck out five and did not factor in the decision.
With his Aug. 19 start against Cleveland being the lone exception, Brault's outings have lasted three innings or less. Despite another short start in Sunday's win, the left-hander was decent against Milwaukee. The lone run he allowed was unearned, and he set a season high in strikeouts with five. Brault will likely start one of the games during the doubleheader against the Reds on Friday.
Brault (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over three innings in a loss to the White Sox on Tuesday. He failed to record a strikeout.
Brault was on the wrong side of history Tuesday, as White Sox starter Lucas Giolito tossed a no-hitter. The White Sox scraped together three runs off Brault in the second inning and added another in the third before Nick Tropeano relieved him. Brault has a 4.80 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and nine strikeouts in 15 innings across five appearances (five starts) this year. The 28-year-old Brault, who has only pitched five or more innings once this year, is currently scheduled to start Sunday in Milwaukee.
Brault allowed two hits and one walk while striking out three across five scoreless innings Wednesday against Cleveland. He did not factor into the decision.
Brault held Cleveland hitless through four innings, with the only baserunner he allowed coming on a walk to lead off the game. He allowed consecutive singles to begin the fifth frame, but recovered to keep his scoreless effort intact. It was Brault's first outing since Aug. 9 due to postponed contests, and also the deepest he has worked into a game this season. He's currently projected to take his next turn in the rotation Tuesday at the White Sox.
Brault is slated to start Wednesday's home game against the Indians, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Cardinals' and Reds' roster pools, the Pirates played only two games last week, denying Brault of any starts. He'll return to the pitching schedule Wednesday while JT Brubaker jumps ahead of him in the order, robbing Brault of a two-start week in the process. Since Brault had been working as part of a tandem with Chad Kuhl in his prior appearances, he hasn't covered more than three innings in any outing this season. With that in mind, expect Brault's pitch count to be capped Wednesday.
Brault won't start Saturday since the remainder of the weekend series against the Reds was postponed.
The Reds had a player test positive for COVID-19 after Friday's contest, so the remainder of the series was called off as a precautionary measure. Both teams will undergo testing over the coming days to determine the next steps forward.
Brault is expected to start against the Reds on Saturday, Alex Stumpf of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
The loss of Joe Musgrove (triceps) pushes Brault back into the starting rotation. In his last three outings, the lefty hurled three perfect innings, failed to retire a batter while surrendering four runs, and threw two scoreless frames. Brault has yet to allow a run in 12.2 career innings in Cincinnati.
Brault will start Sunday's series finale against the Tigers in place of Joe Musgrove (ankle), Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
Brault piggybacked off Chad Kuhl on Friday, but he allowed four runs while not recording an out. It was a short outing, but he still threw 32 pitches, so the Pirates are likely to keep a close eye on the lefty's workload Sunday. Prior to Friday's outing, Brault gave up only one hit through five scoreless innings to begin the season.
Brault allowed three hits and three walks without recording an out in Friday's 17-13 loss to the Tigers.
After hurling three perfect innings in his last outing, Brault threw only 13 of 32 pitches for strikes. Despite the inconsistency, the lefty will likely continue serve as a piggyback pitcher because of the team's lack of depth. Brault's fastball velocity (92.5 mph) dropped below the 93-mph mark for the first time in 2020, but the team made no mention of injury.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said that Chad Kuhl would start Friday's game against the Twins rather than Brault, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
After Brault was piggybacked by Kuhl in both pitchers' first two appearances of 2020, the Pirates' game notes initially listed the former as being in line for another start Friday. Though Shelton clarified that Kuhl will instead draw the start in the series opener, the skipper was unwilling to say whether Brault would follow Kuhl. Since Brault has tossed five scoreless frames for his first two turns, it would be surprising if he was moved into an exclusive bullpen role at this time.
Brault did not allow a baserunner and struck out four across three innings against the Cubs on Sunday. He did not factor into the decision.
Brault has been working as the opener in the fifth rotation spot for the Pirates through two outings this season. He's now worked five scoreless innings, surrendering only one hit and two walks. With injuries to both Mitch Keller (oblique) and Chad Kuhl (finger), Brault may have the opportunity to work as a traditional starter in his next turn.
Brault and Chad Kuhl could each pitch several innings of the same game in Pittsburgh's fifth starter slot, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
Brault said that manager Derek Shelton told the lefty about this option during a Zoom call Monday, calling it a "piggyback" of both pitchers. Shelton added that the team is considering other piggyback options as well. A final decision on the final rotation spot may not be made until the end of summer camp.
The Pirates haven't determined Brault's role heading into training camp, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
Manager Derek Shelton has four starters ahead of Brault in mind, and he's considering different options for the fifth starter's role. Brault could be used as an opener or in long relief. In any event, the lefty has recovered from the shoulder injury that sidelined him during the Grapefruit League.
Brault (shoulder) will resume throwing in 3-to-5 days, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Brault is said to be in the "advanced stages of rehab" from the left shoulder strain that shut him down in early March. It's taken him longer than expected to get to this point, but the southpaw is now ready to start ramping back up in preparation for what figures to be a sixth-starter/swingman role for the Pirates.
Brault (shoulder) has yet to resume throwing, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Brault was shut down from throwing for at least two weeks due to a shoulder strain back on March 2. It's now been nearly four weeks and nothing has changed on that front. With the resumption of play still up in the air, however, it remains to be seen whether or not he'll miss any game action.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/22||vs CHC||W 3-2||7.0||2||0||3||6|
|09/17||vs STL||W 5-1||1||9.0||2||1||2||8|
|09/11||@ KC||L 3-4||1||4.0||4||3||3||4|
|09/04||vs CIN||L 2-4||1||4.2||7||4||2||6|
|08/30||@ MIL||W 5-1||3.0||3||0||1||5|
|08/25||@ CHW||L 0-4||1||3.0||5||4||4||0|
|08/19||vs CLE||L 1-6||5.0||2||0||1||3|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2016||ASX-West Virginia Black||4.0||1||1||0||0||0||0||5||0||1||0.00||0.250|