Wehner on Mitch Keller: 'He's Too Good Not To Have Success'

Pirates broadcaster expects a good night from Bucs rookie

The Fan Morning Show
June 18, 2019 - 11:10 am
Mitch Keller

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Through two starts at the MLB level, Pirates top pitching prospect Mitch Keller has given up 12 earned runs in just seven innings pitched, good for a nasty 15.43 ERA. 

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But Tuesday night could be the night Keller finds his footing, as he makes his first home start against baseball's lowest scoring offense in the Detroit Tigers. 

"You can the stuff. You can see the velocity," said Pirates broadcaster John Wehner when he joined The Fan Morning Show in his likely spot at 9:30 am on Tuesdays. "I thought against Atlanta, against a team that's obviously very hot and they've got a bunch of veteran guys that can swing the bat I mean, I'll remind you, that first inning he tied up Freddie Freeman, he hit one of the weakest balls you'll ever see him hit on an 0-2 pitch which was a little dribbler to shortstop. There was a lot of soft contact.

I thought unlike the first start, the second start I thought there was so bad luck that happened there. Having said that, I also thought the pitch selection was questionable. When you have a wipeout curveball and you're not throwing it for whatever reason, especially when you have a chance to end an inning with a strikeout. But the arm is definitely there. The command was better. I thought he was aggressive. 

It wouldn't surprise me if he goes out there and throws up six or seven zero's and gets his first big league W.  He's too good not to have success. I mean, I know [about] the Tyler Glasnow thing but Tyler Glasnow had trouble throwing strikes. This guy can throw strikes. This guy is going to be fine. It's just a matter of going out there and executing and I think he'll have a good night tonight." 

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A good night would certainly be welcomed, as the Bucs sit seven games under .500 (32-39) and 7.5 games back of Milwaukee in the NL Central entering play Tuesday. 

Wehner has also been very impressed by rookie Bryan Reynolds and his "quiet" swing that has led to an MLB rookie-best .361 batting average.  

"You'll hear when certain people talk about being 'quiet,' Bryan Reynolds is quiet in the batter's box. It's so calm, it's so relaxed. It's so effecient. The swing looks the same whether it's a breaking ball down and away or a fastball up and in. He's so mechanically sound, I guess you could say, to where he's in a position to hit everything.

He's balanced. He's confident. It seems like he knows where the pitcher is throwing half the time, that's what blows me away more than anything else. He does things you don't see hitters do. He hits a 3-1 backdoor breaking ball into left for a base hit. He'll hit an 0-2 fastball in into right field for a double. You can rarely fool this guy with a pitch, he's just so on time. 

He recognizes things so early and that's why he doesn't get fooled I think. And he's still ready to hit a fastball. A lot of guys that recognize a breaking ball are maybe sitting breaking ball. But this guy rarely gets fooled by a fastball, he rarely gets beat with it.

It's just a great swing. It's great mechanics. It's great timing. It's great patience. I mean he has everything you want in a hitter as far as I'm concerned. It's very rare to see not only from a younger player but any player." 

You can listen to the full interview with Pirates broadcaster John Wehner on The Fan Morning Show below.              

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