BRADENTON, Fla. - If you look at his entire career, there's no doubt that Gerrit Cole should be the Pirates' Opening Day starter, and the guy at the top of the rotation. Cole has ranked 26th in xFIP out of 175 qualified pitchers from 2013-2016, and those numbers include his down year in 2016. That down year came with a late start due to an injury prior to Spring Training, along with some shoulder issues throughout the season that led to three trips to the disabled list.
Cole is back healthy now, and the Pirates named him their Opening Day starter yesterday.
"It was something that I was working towards, so I was really excited when he pulled me into the office and told me yesterday," Cole said. "It's pretty cool."
This will be Cole's first Opening Day start, with the last three yea...
To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.
If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.