Welcome to another exhilarating edition of Pirates Breakdown’s Stock Report. The Pittsburgh Pirates continued the winning ways last week, taking five of the seven games they played against the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and New York Mets. Here are the standout performances from the last seven days along with one that stood out for the wrong reasons.
Whose Stock is Rising
Trevor Williams took the mound twice in the last week and walked away with victories in both. He shut out Cleveland in a rain shortened game on July 23rd, going six innings while allowing just four hits and two walks to go along with one strikeout.
He followed that up with another solid outing on July 28th when he again pitched six shutout innings and gave up five hits and three walks compared to five strikeouts. This is now three consecutive outings that Williams has pitched at least five innings and no allowed a run and because of that has dropped his season ERA to under four.
Gregory Polanco has been on an absolute tear lately, and his hot hitting continued into last week. In his 29 at-bats, Polanco collected nine hits, including his 17th and 18th home runs of the season.
He drove in seven runs total in the first three games last week, but if there is one area of concern for Polanco as of late, it is that he struck out eight times in those contests and only walked twice. But after a very slow start to the season, Polanco has quickly become one of the more threatening bats in the everyday Pittsburgh lineup.
Polanco’s fellow outfielder Corey Dickerson also put together an impressive week before landing on the disabled list. In the 9-2 victory over the Reds on July 22nd, Dickerson cracked his fifth home run in four days. Even though he only played in the first three games last week, Dickerson collected seven hits in 11 at-bats. Four of those hits came in the big win over Cincinnati on July 22nd, and on July 24th he was a home run away from hitting for the cycle.
With the injury and the team’s sudden jump back into the playoff discussion, it now seems like the team will not trade him. But with the way that he has been hitting this season, there is certainly an argument to explore the idea of keeping him around into 2019.
Whose Stock is Falling
While the team has been, for the most part, firing on all cylinders, Nick Kingham had the worst outing for a starting pitcher last week. The Mets knocked him out of the July 26th contest in the fourth inning and they tagged him for six runs on seven hits.
Most of the damage came off of the bats of Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera, who both clubbed two run home runs off the rookie. Kingham has struggled with the home run ball all year and the month of July has been no different. In 24.2 innings this month, he has allowed nine home runs.
He should have a fairly tight grip on his rotation spot, but if he continues to allow balls to leave the field at such a high rate, the team may look to other pitchers.