Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect Gerrit Cole could be making his debut on Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants. When Wandy Rodriguez was injured in his last start, it was expected that he would be placed on the disabled list; however, Rodriguez does not expect to hit the DL now. And not only is Rodriguez injured, but Pirates’ starter Jeanmar Gomez is also injured, so the Pirates will need a starter.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is a very good reporter, and he seems to believe Cole is “very much so” an option to start Tuesday.
Cole is the widely considered the Pirates’ top prospect. He is a big 6’4″ right-handed pitcher. He has a fastball that sits in the high 90s and a wipe-out slider. Drafted first overall in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, it appears he is finally going to show Pirates fans what he can do. In 12 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis in 2013, Cole has pitched 68 innings with a 2.91 ERA. He has only given up 44 hits, but he has also walked 28 batters while only striking out 47. The Pirates would have preferred to see Cole dominate Triple-A hitters, but his 6.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 show that he was far from dominating. The quality of his pitches indicate that he should have far more strikeouts than he has. Command of his pitches has been a question facing Cole all season by many scouts.
If it is true that Cole is really going to pitch for the Pirates on Tuesday, it’s going to be a lot of fun to see it. The thing that is going to be most amusing about Cole making his debut is that if he has a bad game, some people will assume he is a bust; if he has a great game, people will think he’s the second coming of Cy Young. I can’t wait.