Steven Brault can exhale - sort of. For the first time in his major league career, the relentlessly upbeat Pittsburgh Pirates lefty is not spending spring training freaking out over whether he'll have a job at the end of the month.
The 28-year-old will be in the starting rotation when the regular season begins on April 1. Heady territory for player who has done a little bit of everything since breaking into the big leagues in 2016. He has started 45 times in 100 appearances, worked in long relief and short relief as a left-handed one-out guy and has one career save under his belt.
The Pirates, however, don't need him to be versatile. They need him to become a reliable option every fifth day, something he was in 2020, particularly late in the season after the training wheels came off. Brault went 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA last year and ended with a flourish. His last two starts were a complete-game two-hitter against St. Louis and seven shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs.