In the spirit of this weekend's MLB Draft, it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates will be calling on one of the top picks from the last couple years to aid their current need for pitching. Gerrit Cole, the #1 overall pick from the 2011 draft, will reportedly make his debut for the Bucs next week.
The Pirates have suffered some injuries to their starting rotation recently. With James McDonald and Jeanmar Gomez already on the disabled list, Wandy Rodriguez left a recent start because of forearm tightness. Given that he had called the trainer out to the mound, after throwing only 14 pitches, this is something that could end up being pretty serious.
Enter Gerrit Cole. The speculation over when the super prospect could make his debut has been swirling since the season began. With Rodriguez going down, all indications are that Cole could be ready to go on the bump for the Pirates on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh opens up a series with the San Francisco Giants.
Cole has been terrific in Triple A for Pirates' affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians. He has a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts, going 5-3 over that span. He has 47 strikeouts over 68 innings this season. One of the concerns was over his control. He still has 28 free passes this year, but his walks are down quite a bit recently after he had walked over five a game early on in the year.
As far as his arsenal is concerned, Cole has some nasty stuff that is well-documented. He has a fastball that lives in the upper 90s, an absolutely nasty slider, and a solid changeup. There's a reason he was selected #1 overall. You can bet we'll all be tuning in when he takes the hill against San Francisco on Tuesday night.