Why the Roansy Contreras Call-Up is a Big Deal

Rob Lynn/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Wednesday evening game against the Chicago Cubs will be right-handed prospect Roansy Contreras.  It will be Contreras’ major league debut.  He is currently listed as the Pirates 6th best prospect, according to MLB.com.   Pirates play-by-play man, Joe Block, tweeted that at just 21 years-old, Contreras will be the youngest Pirate starting pitcher in 17 years. 

Minor League Career

Contreras made his professional debut as a 17 year-old with the Yankees where he got as high as Single-A ball over two seasons of work.  He then missed the 2020 season, as all minor league players did, before getting traded to the Pirates as part of the Jameson Taillon trade. 

Contreras has been having an exceptional season in the minor leagues.  At Double-A Altoona, he started 12 games and pitched 54.1 innings.  In those 54 innings, he had an outstanding 76 strikeouts and only 12 walks allowed.  Before being promoted to AAA for one start, Contreras had a 2.65 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.  In his one start with the Indianapolis Indians, he recorded six strikeouts in just 3.1 innings pitched.

New Regime, New Ideas

The call-up of Roansy Contreras sets a new tone for the Pirates and this front office.  A common complaint about the old regime was how long it would take for them to develop and call up prospects.  Then, by the time these prospects were experienced ballplayers, they were already into their late 20’s.  The Pirates were so afraid to mismanage or rush a prospect’s development, they didn’t realize they were holding them back from developing in the first place.

That is why the call-up today is so meaningful.  Contreras has shown he deserves the chance to prove himself at the major league level.  This new regime is not afraid of mismanaging him and holding him back solely because they had an artificial age requirement like it appeared the last regime had. 

Instead, they are giving Contreras his chance because each individual is ready at a different rate.  I don't know if it is because they have such a stockpile of prospects or they just have different ideas but this front office is fearless and smart.  If it works out tonight, Contreras has three years of major league experience by the age of 25.  If it doesn’t work, then Contreras starts next season in the minor leagues and works on some things.  No harm done.

I am a huge fan of this newer and more modern strategy.  Players are not as effective deep into their 30’s anymore.  They are also developing quicker and youngsters like Ronald Acuna Jr and Ozzie Albies have shown that being called up in your early 20’s can very successful.  Plus, it seemed like the old Pirates front office had a set clock on prospects when each player is different.  It appears Cherington, and the rest of the new front office, will let an individual that is developing quicker than his peers prove himself if he is ready. 

Roansy Contreras Day!

This is a historic day for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It shows a new confidence in how the Pirates are developing players and gives people hope that the future is right around the corner.  Happy Roansy Contreras Day everyone!  Tune in at 6:35 tonight and let’s all see how he does together.