Sometimes major league transactions sneak up on us; other times, we know well in advance. This is one that we’ve known about for about half a week, thanks to Facebook, of course. The news? Chad Kuhl made his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday night against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers!
Chad pitched in New Market only four short years ago- in 2012. The student athlete at Delaware was chosen by the Bucs in the 9th round of the 2013 draft. Assigned to Jamestown of the New York-Penn League after the draft, he immediately started dominating, finishing 3-4, 2.11, with a 1.07 WHIP, and only 6 walks in 55 1/3 innings.
Aggressively assigned to Bradenton of the Florida State League in 2014, Chad finished 13-5, 2.46, with a 1.19 WHIP in 153 1/3 innings. He again moved up a level to start 2015, and went 11-5, 2.48, with a 1.14 WHIP in 152 2/3 innings in Double-A Altoona.
Moved up to Triple-A Indianapolis to start 2016, Chad went 6-2, 2.58, with a 1.19 WHIP and only 16 walks in 76 2/3 innings. And now, of course, he has been moved up to Pittsburgh!
His parents and what appears to be his brother were at the game cheering him on. In 5 innings of work, Chad allowed 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 earned runs, and struck out 5. He received the win for his efforts. He also had a fascinating at-bat (his only one) in which he battled Kershaw, the best pitcher in the major leagues right now, fouling off several pitches before striking out. No one knows if this is just a spot start, or if Chad will get another start in a few days.
The list just keeps getting bigger! In making his MLB debut, Chad joins Tyler White (Haymarket 2010), Chris Devenski (Woodstock 2011), Ashur Tolliver (Harrisonburg 2007), and Ryan Schimpf (Luray 2008) as Valley League alumni to make the bigs this season.