Gerrit Cole Will Return From the DL and Start For Pirates on Saturday

Gerrit Cole, who has been on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue, will return on Saturday, and will be making the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the New York Mets. Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle said that the team was still figuring out what that would do to the rotation.

“We’re in discussions right now about what that will do to the rotation,” Hurdle said.

Hurdle didn’t comment on whether one of the existing starters would move to the bullpen. The current rotation includes Charlie Morton, Edinson Volquez, Jeff Locke, Vance Worley, and Brandon Cumpton. Locke and Cumpton are the only ones with options remaining, and of the two, Cumpton would seem most likely to go down.

The probable starters for the weekend series are Worley (Thursday), Cumpton (Friday), and Volquez (Saturday). I’d be surprised if Volquez was the guy replaced, as he’s been better than Cumpton, and the Pirates could maintain starting pitching depth by sending Cumpton down. Hurdle said that the discussions would start tomorrow, so it’s possible the upcoming rotation could change.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Leefoo Rug Bug

    Agree…bye bye Brandon.

  • bucsws2014

    It has to be Cumpton.

    Now, when Liriano in on the mend, I’m hoping he has to put in at least two starts at AAA for rehab to see if he’s fixed his issues. Because removing Locke from the rotation in favor of the Liriano we’ve been seeing much of this year is not a move conducive to winning a pennant.

    • Lee Young

      Yep…I am NOT anxiously awaiting the return of 2014 Frankie to the Pirate rotation.

  • piraddict

    I am hoping they trade Volquez.

    • Matt Beam

      why?

      • piraddict

        Because if they trade him now they will get a return whereas if they wait until the end of the season they get nothing and because I want both Locke and Worley to stay in the rotation upon Liriano’s return. (This assumes Cumpton is sent down to make room for Cole.) I have nothing against Volquez except for an irritating lack of consistency. His breaking stuff is great. But with Taillon, Kingham, Cumpton and Sadler as SP possibilities in addition to Cole, Morton, Locke and Worley in 2015 I don’t see Volquez as a priority FA sign this winter. Same for Liriano really. So you maximize team value by trading Volquez now and expecting Locke or Worley to do just as well in the rotation as Volquez’s replacement.

        • bucsws2014

          If we’re talking about trading Volquez, why not talk about trading Liriano? I’d think there’s a good possiblity other GMs might buy into the “every other year” theory and offer something more than what they would for Volquez. That and he’s a LH starter with decent peripherals.

          Odds are neither is coming back to Bucs next year, but Volquez at least provides some flexibility. And when he has been on, he’s really been on.

          As far as Taillon, Bucs won’t see him until after July 2015 at earliest.

          • piraddict

            I’d be great with trading Liriano as well, I agree with your assessment that he would return more than Volquez. But Franky’s hurt now and until his injury situation is positively resolved there isn’t likely to be much interest by other teams in acquiring him. Also, I am all in favor of taking Liriano’s and Volquez’s salary levels, adding another $10MM and pursuing a FA like Yu Darvish this winter if one is available. I think the Pirates are one “Yu Darvish” away from being a World Series contender in 2015. I prefer the FA market to the trade market to avoid losing prospects.

          • Y2JGQ2

            Trade them both- sadly as bad as liriano is pitching, i doubt you’d get much

        • smurph

          Volquez leads all Pirate starters in WHIP. Why do you want to trade him when their starter depth is not that great right now? Based on his up and down history, it is very unlikey they could get much for him. He won’t be traded unless they get eliminated from the race (their offense will not allow that to happen).

          • piraddict

            Small sample sizes, but Locke’s and Worley’s WHIPs are better than Volquez’s. Volquez’s era is good #5 level versus#1 for Worley or #3 for Locke. Worley’s numbers won’t be sustainable but should stabilize at a #3 level. This will be better than Volquez’s, primarily because of Volquez’s inconsistency. Volquez can be good, then really bad, with an average of “meh”. Worley is more likely to be consistent, but we”ll see. You improve your team by replacing average or below players with better ones. Relacing Volquez with either Locke or Worley is an improvement, it’s as simple as that.

            • Matt Beam

              goal is to make the playoffs, trading SP’s is not the way to go… we’ll still need guys #6 and/or #7 between now and the end of the yr, count on it

              • piraddict

                The goal is to make the playoffs, and to do that you need to start your best 5 SPs. Volquez is #6. My rank order of performance for the staff is:

                1 – Cole

                2 – Morton

                3 – Worley

                4 – Locke

                5 – Cumpton

                6 – Volquez

                7 – Liriano

                8 – Sadler

                9 – Kingham

                10 – Brigham

                Volquez has no options, you can’t send him to Indy. So trade him, and Liriano frankly, and look to Sadler and Kingham for emergency depth. Remember the job Cumpton did as emergency depth last year? No reason why Sadler or Kingham can’t provide the same effort.

                We may disagree on who we want on the mound to win a game this Summer among Cumpton, Volquez or Liriano. I’ll take my chances with Cumpton, two pitches and all.

              • Y2JGQ2

                Good points on both sides. We may “need” pitchers, we may not- or that need may be irrelevant based on where we are in the standings in a month. We shall see

    • B Thomas

      I think Volquez would be very dominant out of the bullpen throwing 1 to 2 innings per outing. He has very good stuff, a lot better than Gomez.

    • Andrew

      I don’t think replacement level starters have any trade value.

  • B Thomas

    Cumpton should and will go down because he has options.

    The rotation I would like to see when Liriano comes back is…
    Cole, Liriano, Locke, Worley, Morton. I think you send Hughes down because of his option and move Volquez to the bullpen. Pimentel, Gomez, Volquez, Grilli, Wilson, Watson, Melancon. Then if you add a starter I would DFA Gomez or possibly try and deal Grilli (if possible) then move Worley or Locke to Bullpen.

    • deacs

      I could very much get behind sending Volquez to the pen because I don’t trust him as much as Locke right now. But I’d bet money they send Locke down if Liriano comes back and the rest are healthy. Simply because he has options, no other reason.

    • smurph

      Actually, I’m on board with b thomas here. Assuming they have no more “injuries”, I would demote Cumpton after his start Friday. Liriano is at least a week and a half away. Then you could move Volquez to the BP and demote Hughes. However, the way Hughes has been pitching, I would rather keep him and demote Pimentel, who has passed through waivers before.

      • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

        I’d bet Liriano is a lot more than a week and a half away. Oblique is bad news

    • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

      Grilli is finished. I saw him in person in Tampa today and he looked horrible. They won’t get anything for him. I think they should move Cumpton and his two pitches to the pen, and cut Grilli.

  • R Edwards

    I would send down Pimentel or Sadler, before Cumpton.

    • Matt Beam

      stolmy is out of options so he’d have to clear waivers, probably a 50/50 chance given his stuff but lack of results this yr

    • Scott Kliesen

      Need to keep Cumpton stretched out as a SP for Indy in the event of injury or lack of effectiveness of Pirates SP’s.

  • R Edwards

    Good news on Cole – we need him badly.

    Now, what to do with Grilli??

    He lost his closer role, and today gives up 2 runs in 1 inning of mop-up duty. He can only hurt the team in his present state. He either is not 100% – put him on DL – or he needs to agree to go to Indy to try to get it back. He’s dead wood right now. Mazzaro or Waldron would be an upgrade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

    Please explain to me how Volquez has been better than Cumpton? Take out that one start against I believe it was LA he’s been down right nasty. I do agree that Cumpton will go down to AAA though There’s no sense in DFA’ing Worley or Volquez. It will be rather interesting to see what happens when Liriano is ready to return though. I don’t want to see Locke and Cumpton in AAA because the have both pitched so well and I don’t want to see us cut Liriano. My guess is maybe they send someone to the pen and DFA Gomz or send Hughes back down. Locke needs to stay in this rotation. The depth chart should be as follows Cole,Liriano,Morton,Worley,Locke.Volquez,Cumpton. Send Volky to the Pen