Nick Kingham, Triple-A player of the week, awaits another shot with Pirates
Nick Kingham continues to make his case that he deserves a permanent place in the Pirates' starting rotation. But he's doing so by way of his pitching, not via complaints.
"He's not waiting by the door or by the phone," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said after Kingham was named the International League pitcher of the week Monday. "However when he continues to pitch like he does, it gives him (the organization's) confidence in calling him up when an opportunity presents itself."
Days after being optioned to Triple-A for the third time over a five-week span, Kingham pitched eight shutout innings against Toledo on Thursday to earn his second IL weekly honor this season.
Kingham has a 3.82 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in six MLB starts in 2018; he has a 1.67 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in seven outings for Indianapolis.
Because of his MLB duties — and a one-inning glorified bullpen session masqueraded as a Triple-A "start" May 25 — Kingham's performance Thursday was his first full start for Indianapolis in a full month.
"I am proud of the way he's gone about his opportunities," Hurdle said.
"He's focused on what he's in control of, and he's focused on what he needs to do and he's focused on finding his way back here and pitching the best ball he can pitch where is at – and then wait for his next opportunity."
Continued struggles by starter Trevor Williams would offer the next potential opportunity (barring injury) for a Kingham MLB start.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.