Welcome to the first post trade deadline edition of Pirates Breakdown’s Stock Report! It was quite an exciting week for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they traded for a couple of arms that can help this year and beyond. But in the last week the team won two games and lost three, so here are the standouts for the right and wrong reasons.
Whose Stock is Rising
Adam Frazier has been on quite a tear since being recalled from Indianapolis, especially at the end of last week. In 11 at-bats so far this month, Frazier has gone five for 11. This includes a three hit performance on August 3rd against the St. Louis Cardinals when he knocked the game winning single in the eighth inning.
Since being recalled on July 25th when he was slashing .241/.323/.362, Frazier has bumped those numbers up to .267/.339/.400 heading into the second week of August. He should warrant plenty of playing time as the season winds down, because he is swinging a hot bat right now.
Speaking of hot bats, David Freese has one in his hands at the moment. In the last week he went six for 19 with two doubles in the July 31st victory over the Chicago Cubs and an opposite field home run in the loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on August 3rd.
Freese has been an important bat off the bench this year and he also brings veteran leadership to a fairly young team. His past postseason experience could be extremely valuable if the Pirates are able to earn a trip to the playoffs. His ability to play both corner spots also gives Clint Hurdle some flexibility in lineup construction, and this is even more important since Josh Bell has been nursing an injury and has not been on the field.
Whose Stock is Falling
After the team acquired both Chris Archer and Keone Kela, there was obviously going to be some roster moves at the Major League level. With Archer, someone else had to lose their rotation spot, and that someone was Nick Kingham.
Prior to his demotion, Kingham had struggled in his last two outings. On August 1st, he lasted just one inning against the Chicago Cubs and allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk. He also threw an outrageous 51 pitches in that inning, so it was not surprising to see him get the hook so early.
Before that, the New York Mets tagged for six runs on seven hits in three innings on July 26th. He also walked four (compared to just one strikeout) and gave up two home runs. There is a chance that Kingham could see additional starts this season, but that certainly became murkier after Archer joined the team.
With Kela joining the bullpen, Steven Brault was sent to Indianapolis to make room for him. The month of July was not kind to Brault, as he appeared in just seven games but posted his highest ERA (7.71) in a month this season.
He allowed eight runs on 15 hits in nine and a third innings of work last month, with most of the damage coming from a two inning, four run performance on July 2nd against the Los Angeles Dodgers and on July 10th when he gave up three runs in a third of an inning against the Washington Nationals.
The writing was on the wall that he might be the odd man out after his relief appearance on August 1st when he surrendered two runs on five hits and five walks against the Chicago Cubs. Brault could be in line for a September promotion, but probably will not pitch in any high leverage situations when/if he rejoins the team.