Cedar Rapids-native Mitch Keller named Pittsburgh Pirates opening day starter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids-native and Xavier High School graduate Mitch Keller will be the starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates on opening day of the 2023 MLB season.
The team posted video on Twitter of the moment Pirates Manager Derek Shelton told Keller he’d be making the March 30th start. He also handed Keller a celebratory bottle of champagne.
In the video, Shelton asks Keller how many pitches he threw in that day’s session, then asks him how many he thinks he’ll throw on the 30th, in a clear indication he’s been named the opening day starter.
The 26-year-old Keller takes a moment to let it sink in, then pops up to give Shelton a hug after the two shake hands on it. Shelton is heard telling Keller it’s very well deserved after all the hard work he’s put in transforming himself from prospect to big leaguer.
“I really appreciate it, this is cool,” Keller is heard saying to his manager in the video. “I can’t wait to tell my parents. This is cool!”
The Pirates open the season with a series on the road in Cincinnati against the Reds.
Keller was a second round pick by the Pirates in the 2014 draft.
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