Pirates' Jameson Taillon to start Wednesday; Nick Kingham in line for Saturday
Manager Clint Hurdle provided plenty of tidbits about the immediate future of the Pirates starting rotation Tuesday.
Of most urgent concern, Jameson Taillon will make his next start as scheduled Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. Taillon left his most recent start Friday after three innings because of a laceration on the middle finger of his right hand.
Taillon skipped his bullpen session between outings in an effort to allow the cut to heal, and he even solicited advice on how to accelerate that process .
Hey, it worked for Moises Alou. Now, Jameson Taillon will consider urinating on his finger. https://t.co/KyzDtoWbmm— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) May 14, 2018
Though Hurdle confirmed Taillon as the Wednesday starter, the Pirates have yet to formally announce who will start any of the games after that. Chad Kuhl and Ivan Nova, though, are almost assuredly starting Thursday and Friday games against the San Diego Padres, with Tuesday starter Trevor Williams slotted for Sunday.
Because of off days, Saturday is the first time the Pirates will need a fifth starter in more than two weeks since Nick Kingham made his second major league start.
Though Hurdle would not commit to Kingham being recalled to start Saturday, he conceded Kingham "is in line to pitch." In an effort to stay on regular rest, the Pirates sent Kingham to Double-A Altoona so he could start Monday (the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians were off).
Kingham took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his major league debut April 29, and he won again six days later. He has a 2.92 ERA with 16 strikeouts and eight runners allowed in 121⁄3 major league innings.
Still, a strong outing Saturday might not be enough for Kingham to stick. That's because Joe Musgrove is nearly ready to rejoin the MLB club. Hurdle said Musgrove (shoulder strain) will make another rehab start for Indianapolis on Friday.
Joe Musgrove's third minor-league rehabilitation start was a stellar one https://t.co/wpd5ex7Lfa— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) May 13, 2018
Musgrove will be allowed to throw 100 pitches and/or six innings — virtually the same as if he was healthy. That signals that if all goes well, he could join the Pirates next week and slot into the rotation in lieu of Kingham's turn May 25 at home against St. Louis.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.