The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole from the 15-day disabled list. They have optioned Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A to make room on the 25-man roster. The move to activate Cole today was expected, as Clint Hurdle said earlier in the week that he would be starting tonight.
The thing we didn’t know at the time is what the corresponding roster move would be. Brandon Cumpton made the most sense, as he has options remaining. The only other player with options remaining is Jeff Locke, who has been pitching better than Cumpton in the brief amount of time each player has been up this year. The other possible candidates would be Edinson Volquez and Vance Worley. Both pitchers have done well enough to remain in the rotation, as opposed to the alternative plans, which would be a demotion to the bullpen or a DFA.
Cumpton has been pitching well this year. He has a 4.61 ERA, but that’s largely inflated by one bad start where he gave up ten earned runs in 3.2 innings. His xFIP is 3.93. If the Pirates have a need for another starter later in the year, he would be a great option to call on. Last night he threw seven innings against the Mets, giving up two earned runs. It was the second start in a row where he threw seven innings.