Pirates’ Jared Jones set for MLB debut vs. Marlins

Author:
Sportsnaut

Pittsburgh starting pitcher Jared Jones entered spring training expecting to begin the season at the Triple-A level. Instead, the highly touted prospect will be on the mound for his major league debut when the Pirates continue their four-game series against the host Miami Marlins on Saturday.

Pittsburgh has won the first two games of the season-opening series, including 7-2 on Friday. The Pirates are 2-0 for the first time since 2018.

Jones earned a spot in the Pirates’ rotation after tossing 16 1/3 scoreless innings across six games (five starts) in the Grapefruit League. The 22-year-old right-hander stuck out 15 and walked eight.

The Pirates are being aggressive with Jones after the fireballer posted a 5-9 record with a 3.85 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Triple-A Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona last season.

“Just like all of you saw, he performed really well in spring training,” Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington said. “More than the surface performance, though, continued progress in the work he was doing between starts, coming into the game, in terms of execution, usage of all of his pitches. Obviously we know the competitor. Believe in him, and believe he makes our team better by being on it to start the season.”

Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs in Friday’s victory, but he also recorded the second two-error game of his career.

“Some routine plays that I should have made,” Hayes said. “It is what it is. Wish I could have ‘em back. Unfortunately, I can’t. Good thing is you get to come back tomorrow and get back out there.”

Miami will send left-hander Ryan Weathers (1-8, 6.55 ERA in 2023) to the mound against the Pirates. Weathers solidified his spot in the rotation after recording a 3.00 ERA and a 21-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18 innings during spring training.

“He’s definitely on the right track and has opened up a lot of the organization’s eyes,” Marlins pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. said. “We’re starting to put a lot of trust in him.”

Weathers, 24, was a first-round pick by the San Diego Padres in 2018. He had a 7.62 ERA in three games (two starts) with Miami after being acquired last August.

Weathers is part of an injury-plagued rotation that includes Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk, Trevor Rogers and Max Meyer. Projected starters Eury Perez, Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera are on the injured list, and ace Sandy Alcantara will miss the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Marlins could use a lengthy outing from Weathers after Puk issued six walks and gave up four runs before exiting without recording an out in the third inning on Friday.

“I think there were some grip issues or something going on. I’ll have to talk to him,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “He’s usually a really good command guy. Doesn’t really walk too many people. … He wasn’t feeling right, obviously, so we’ve got some work to do.”

Miami received a boost from reliever Bryan Hoeing, who took over from Puk and tossed four innings of one-run ball.

Reigning National League batting champion Luis Arraez is 0-for-10 for the Marlins, who have hit into seven double plays through two games.

–Field Level Media

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