How Does Dario Agrazal Change Things In The Pirates' Rotation?

Chris Archer with an important start today as well

The Fan Morning Show
July 17, 2019 - 11:19 am
Dario Agrazal

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Who would have thought before the season that we'd be talking about Dario Agrazal forcing his way into the Pirates' rotation in mid-July after four straight starts of giving up two runs or less?

Well, here we are.

It was another ho-hum, six-inning outing for Agrazal last night in St. Louis, giving up just one run over five hits and scattering three walks with, amazingly in 2019, no strikeouts. 

Related: Pirates score twice in the ninth, beat Cardinals 3-1 To Break 4-Game Losing Streak

MLB.com Pirates writer Adam Berry joined The Fan Morning Show Wednesday to talk about the surprise impact he is making and how the roster may be juggled to fit him in moving forward. What's the rotation going to look like? 

"That's going to be a decision they're going to have to make here soon because [Steven] Brault is getting healthier, Mitch Keller, at some point they're going to want to take another look at him. The trade deadline could solve some of this," said Berry. "I think they need to see [Jordan] Lyles figure it out here relatively soon, within a couple of starts because it's been really rough the last couple of times out.

Lyles does have experience in the bullpen. He's a free agent at the end of the season so he's not the kind of guy who's going to factor into your long-term outlook. So I think a lot of it depends on what they do at the deadline, where they stand in the division race or Wild Card race in a couple of weeks when Brault starts to get healthy, when maybe they want to make a decision on Keller or Jameson Taillon looks more realistically like an option for the rotation.

I don't think they're at that point yet but I think if you're trying to balance the long-term and the short-term, maybe you want to see what you have in Agrazal. You know Lyles probably isn't going to be back (next season), maybe Lyles helps out the bullpen a little bit just based on his experience there as kind of a multi-inning guy who doesn't have to worry about turning the lineup over twice." 

Today, Chris Archer is looking to build off what may have been his best start as a Pirate on Friday at Wrigley in which he struck out 10 Cubbies over 6+ innings. 

"We actually had a really good talk with him yesterday in the clubhouse. Archer seems to be in a good place. He's really renewed his confidence, he's kind of gotten back to the pitcher that he needs to be. He started throwing that two-seamer and curveball before the trade, he was trying to evolve as a pitcher, trying to expand himself. I think he realized it was a little too much, too soon. He tried to become a different guy rather than tweaking who he was before. 

So he's going to take some of the good from what he's learned over the last year, keep the curveball going which was a good pitch for him in Chicago, he's back in that little wind-up that he ditched last September. I think he seems to have a pretty good grasp of what worked for him and what didn't work for him as he attempted to evolve over the last year. He seems like he's in a good place confidence-wise and just trusting his stuff which is what you want him to do because he still has good pitches to get outs when he needs to." 

Despite the win last night, the Bucs head into today's game still 5.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central and 3.5 games back of the final NL Wild Card spot. 

You can listen to the entire interview with MLB.com Pirates writer Adam Berry on The Fan Morning Show below.                                  

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