The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates will not go down in the record books as one of the most recognizable and memorable teams in franchise history, more likely the opposite, but still delivered numerous significant moments.
Every season is unique in its own way and shines a few positive lights into even a dark year for players and organizations.
Before the 2022 season begins and a new CBA agreement is reached, Bucs Dugout looks back on the 2021 campaign and the top moments throughout the year.
Sept. 29: Roansy Contreras makes long-awaited debut against Cubs
While 2021 didn’t have much in store for Pirates fans, one thing they were treated to was plenty of debuts from their top prospects.
We already broke down Max Kranick’s perfect debut, but there was another that fans were chomping at the bit to see all season long, and they finally got it towards the end of the season.
After pitching just one game for Triple-A Indianapolis, hard-throwing right-hander Roansy Contreras was promoted to the Major Leagues on Sept. 28 and made his debut for the Bucs the following night, per Derek Shelton’s thought of “getting to take a look at one of [their] top prospects.”
Roansy Contreras has officially been promoted. Ke'Bryan Hayes has been placed on the 10-day IL with general wrist soreness— Alex Stumpf (@AlexJStumpf) September 29, 2021
Contreras – who was traded to Pittsburgh the previous offseason as part of the Jameson Taillon trade – shined all year with the Altoona Curve, but hit a snag in the form of a forearm injury in May. This left fans wondering if they would see him promoted at all in case the team chose to preserve his arm.
That, however, would not be the case.
On Sept. 29, Contreras toed the rubber against the Chicago Cubs and gave fans both in the stands and watching at home a reason to be optimistic about the future.
After two hitters reached in the first inning, Contreras notched his first career strikeout against Pittsburgh-native, Ian Happ, causing Twitter to lose its mind.
Contreras would add three more strikeouts to his tally while limiting the Cubs to just three hits before he was pulled after the third inning.
That would be his only appearance for the Pirates last season, but it was a memorable one that left fans hungry for more in 2022.
Stay tuned for the final best moment of 2021, and then we’ll have our advancers for next week!