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JT Brubaker ‘likely’ to start season on IL; Pirates stuck with rotation decision

Reports of Brubaker’s injury surfaced late Monday morning.

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season hasn’t even started yet but the Pittsburgh Pirates will be without one of their primary starters for a lengthy period of time.

Manager Derek Shelton told reporters Monday morning that starting pitcher JT Brubaker will “more than likely” start the year on the injured list, as he deals with right elbow/forearm discomfort.

Brubaker has a 0-2 record and 5.19 ERA over 17 innings pitched this spring. He was scheduled to make his final start of the spring Monday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins but was scratched hours before for veteran Rich Hill.

Last season, Brubaker went 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA in 28 games.

While it’s unclear how long Brubaker will be out, Rotowire estimates his return date will be April 11 as elbow issues are often a precursor to a 15-day stint.

With Brubaker out, this leaves a spot for prospects Johan Oviedo and Luis Ortiz. The latter of whom was optioned to Triple-A a few days ago, leaving Oviedo as the obvious front-runner.