So far this season, the Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitchers have struggled. Through the Pirates’ first 105 games, their pitchers have a combined 5.03 ERA and have only produced 21 quality starts. One player who has stepped up of late, however, is Wil Crowe. The right-hander came to Pittsburgh in the Josh Bell trade and got off to a rough start. Through his first 13 appearances with the Pirates, he posted a 6.05 ERA but was a different pitcher in July.
In four July starts, Crowe recorded a 3.46 ERA. During that span, he held batters to a .223 average and only allowed four home runs. Although the twenty-six-year-old walked 13 batters, he was able to pitch out of trouble. In Crowe’s first major league season, that has been one of his biggest issues. As the calendar turned to August, he is on an impressive run.
Over his last 11.1 innings of work, Crowe has only allowed two runs. The Tennessee native held the Phillies scoreless in his latest outing while only surrendering one hit. While Crowe has been impressive in his last two starts, his ERA has dropped from 6.12 to 5.40. After the Pirates continued to get younger at the trade deadline, Crowe is showing why he should be part of the Pirates’ future.
Pirates No. 23 prospect Wil Crowe’s longest start of his career:
🔸5 Ks (career high) pic.twitter.com/Xf4R8Y4oJ4
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 8, 2021
With only two months left in the 2021 season, Crowe will not be the only pitcher trying to prove himself. Prospects Max Kranick and Miguel Yajure, will also get more starts in the majors. Crowe will have to continue his recent performance to secure a spot in the rotation for the 2022 campaign.
Through 16 games this season, Crowe is 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA. In his first full major league season, he has struck out 66 batters while allowing 73 hits. While he does have a high ERA, Crowe is starting to show why he was one of the Nationals’ top prospects. Due to his improved control, Crowe has pitched into the sixth inning in his last three starts. It is the first time all season he has done that.
How Crowe can continue his success
As the season winds down, the key for Crowe will be limiting baserunners. In his last two starts, he has pitched deeper into games and given the bullpen a rest. He also struck out 13 batters which nearly matched his total from June. After struggling for most of the season, Crowe is making a case to be in the Pirates 2022 rotation.
-Jamie Gatlin ( JamieGatlin17 )
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