Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' Stolmy Pimentel Raising Eyebrows Early in 2014

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Stolmy Pimentel throws during the team's annual baseball spring training Black and Gold intra-squad game in Bradenton, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar
Ryan GauleCorrespondent IApril 5, 2014

When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel via a trade with the Boston Red Sox in 2012, they felt they were getting a special talent. 

At 6'3" and 230 pounds, the 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic stands tall on the mound, and he is not afraid to go right after batters in any opposing lineup. 

Pimentel made his major league debut in 2013 with the Pirates, making five appearances out of the bullpen and striking out an impressive nine batters in 9.1 innings pitched. 

According to Baseball America, Pimentel was ranked 16th among the Pirates top prospects after last season. 

Pimentel made the Opening Day roster with Pittsburgh this spring, and he is already making an impact out of the bullpen. 

On Wednesday evening during the top of the 13th inning in a game against the Chicago Cubs, manager Clint Hurdle made a call to the bullpen, and in to pitch came the righty with electric stuff. 

Pimentel was sensational, pitching 4.0 innings of two-hit baseball to keep the game tied.  He earned his first major league win when Tony Sanchez hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 16th inning. 

With a blazing four-seam fastball, a 2-seam fastball with good movement, a slider and a devastating splitter, Pimentel should provide a huge boost to Pittsburgh's bullpen in 2014.  However, the Pirates organization has much greater expectations for this kid in the future. 

Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that Hurdle is very high on Pimentel, saying "We see a guy with a three-, four-pitch mix who can get through the lineup three times.  He'll be a potential starter moving forward."

While it will be fun to see just how great of a factor he will be out of the bullpen this season, it is not too early to look forward to Pimentel's future as a starter in Pittsburgh's rotation. 

Barring any major injury, Pimentel can eventually be a top starter behind ace and potential Cy Young Award candidate Gerrit Cole. 

The ceiling is very high for this young man, and while he will likely be in the starting rotation at the start of the 2015-16 season, he may not have to wait that long for his first major league start. 

If the Pirates ever need a spot starter, it would be no surprise to see Pimentel make his first start on any given day this season. 

Pimentel has the potential to be a top starter in the major leagues as early as next season.  For now, however, the Pirates are more than happy with the efforts he can contribute out of the bullpen in 2014 as they look to make it back to the playoffs for the second straight season. 

 

*Statistics Courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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