8-3-21 – By Gary Morgan @garymo2007 on Twitter
Steven Brault is finally scheduled to make his season debut for the Pirates on Wednesday against he Milwaukee Brewers. Long time coming and his absence was somewhat brushed over with the contributions of Tyler Anderson.
Let’s be clear, Steven isn’t going to make this team a thorn in the side of competitors the rest of the year but that doesn’t mean he has no important role to play here.
Steven is a left hander and as Pirates fans, we know sometimes that alone is enough to have him cement himself as a member of the rotation. But Brault is more than that, he’s consistent and controlled through 2024. Meaning he isn’t a lock to get moved this off season, but he is entering the year where the club has to decide if they want to employ his services beyond his controllable years.
Something I hear quite often is this guy isn’t part of the future so who cares, well, I’m here to tell you there are quite a few players who will come and go who won’t play a role physically when the window opens, but those players may also contribute tangibly on the way there.
Steven can lend his talents to this team now, let’s not forget they have to play baseball on the way to good too. He’s been through most of what the kids they’re parading up and down are just beginning.
He’s been someone who shouldn’t make the roster.
He’s been someone who shouldn’t make the rotation, cast away to the bullpen.
He’s been someone who fought through being pegged as a bullpen arm and worked his way back into the rotation where he became steady, even at times the best they had to offer, which ultimately says more about the team itself than Steven.
Point is, you can look at his numbers and rightly peg him for what he is, a 4 or 5 starter or long relief lefty who probably won’t play a role here when it counts. But don’t discount the life experience he’s gained through nothing more than his own ability to be told no countless times and keep coming back to the mound to shout yes.
As you watch prospects rise through the ranks on their way to MLB with their high 90’s stuff and their crazy spin rates that we sometimes forget the things that help beyond raw talent or coaching. Having guys who have experienced failure, perseverance, and yes, sometimes rising above everything you’ve faced to become a valuable member of a baseball team.
That’s the Steven Brault I’m anxious to get back. That’s the Steven Brault that could have really helped nurse some of these guys along throughout the season.
I’m sure plenty of you will just prefer to see another youngster get his starts, but I’d encourage you to see the benefit of his presence on the youngsters that do get those starts and or bullpen cracks. Steven speaks both their languages, and he’s learned the language in an immersive environment.
Sure you can bring in other guys like him, but not guys who’ve done it as a Pirates pitcher, and that means something.