Pittsburgh Pirates (28-47) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (37-40) - Sunday, June 27, 2021 @ 2:15 p.m.
Stadium: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 93.7 The Fan
SB Nation Cardinals site: www.vivaelbirdos.com
Pirates: Max Kranick - RHP - (0-0) – 0.00 ERA - 0 total Ks
Cardinals: Johan Oviedo - RHP - (0-3) – 4.62 ERA – 30 total Ks
Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)
1. Adam Frazier – 2B
2. Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B
3. Bryan Reynolds – CF
4. Colin Moran – 1B
5. Jacob Stallings – C
6. Gregory Polanco – RF
7. Kevin Newman – SS
8. Ben Gamel – LF
9. Max Kranick – P
1. Dylan Carlson – CF
2. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
3. Nolan Arenado – 3B
4. Tyler O’Neill – LF
5. Yadier Molina – C
6. Tommy Edman – 2B
7. Lars Nootbaar – RF
8. Paul DeJong – SS
9. Johan Oviedo – P
The Pittsburgh Pirates will audition rookie right-hander Max Kranick today as they try to nail down a series win against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Kranick will be opposed by young right-hander Johan Oviedo, who will be making his first appearance of the season against the Pirates.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton was quoted on MLB.com as saying, “We’ve talked about giving opportunities to people, and this is one of the opportunities we’re going to give. It fit in line with when he was starting.”
Kranick, who turns 23 next month, was chosen in the 11th-round of the 2016 draft out of Valley View High School in Archbald, Pa., in the northeast corner of the state.
In March 2016, Baseball America ranked him as the 75th-best draft prospect. He had committed to the University of Virginia, but according to MLB.com, the Pirates enticed him to bypass his college commitment and accept a $300,000 signing bonus – triple the usual slot amount for an 11th-round pick.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Kranick has stepped on each rung of the Pirates’ minor league ladder since signing with the club, pitching for affiliates in the Gulf Coast, Appalachian, South Atlantic and Florida State leagues between 2016 and 2019.
Shoulder issues limited him to just five starts in 2017, but he posted ERAs of 3.81 at Low-A West Virginia and 3.79 at High-A Bradenton in 2018 and 2019, respectively, making a total of 36 starts between those two stops.
Kranick was ticketed to make the jump to Double-A Altoona in 2020, but the pandemic ruined those plans. Instead, Kranick pitched at the Pirates’ alternate site, and after the season he was added to the club’s 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. MLB Pipeline rated him as the team’s 26th-best prospect entering the 2021 season.
Kranick started the current season at Double-A Altoona, where he made three starts and pitched a total of 15 2/3 innings. He gave up 14 hits and seven earned runs, walking just two and striking out 16.
That earned him a bump to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he made four more starts, yielding 20 hits and 10 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings. He walked seven and struck out 20.
His most recent start came June 18 against Memphis, when he gave up eight hits and five earned runs in five innings.
According to MLB.com’s Jake Crouse, Kranick’s fastball sits at 94 mph and can reach 97-98 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup.
Oviedo will bring an 0-3 record and a 4.62 ERA into today’s start for the Cardinals.
Oviedo, 23, has made nine appearances this season, eight of which have been starts. In 39 innings, he has yielded 37 hits and 21 walks while striking out 30.
In his most recent start, on June 22, at Comerica Park, Oviedo was touched for six hits and six runs – two earned – in 3 2/3 innings of a loss to the Tigers. He walked three and struck out one.
In the start before that one, he was much more effective, throwing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win over the Miami Marlins on June 16. Oviedo gave up six hits and did not walk a batter while striking out four.