Pirates’ top pitching prospect Gerrit Cole could start Tuesday night at PNC Park, according to the beat writers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Cole started the year as the No. 7 overall prospect in the minor leagues, according to Baseball America. In his first full season for Triple-A Indianapolis, Cole has posted a 2.91 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 28 walks in 68 innings. In each of his last two starts, Cole pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed four baserunners or fewer.
Rob Biertempfel seems to consider Cole the favorite to start Tuesday with an open spot in the Pirates’ rotation.
Gerrit Cole IS an option to start Tuesday for #pirates @ pnc park. Very much so.
— Rob Biertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) June 7, 2013
Michael Sanserino, on the other hand, is pushing most of his chips onto the table that Cole will take on the San Francisco Giants.
Gerrit Cole will very likely make his major league debut Tuesday.
— Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) June 7, 2013
Sanserino reported earlier today that starter Wandy Rodriguez does not expect to go on the disabled list, but he will still likely miss his next start. With both Rodriguez and Jeanmar Gomez scratched from the rotation, the Pirates are in need of a starting pitcher.
When Tom Bragg, Tim Williams and I talked about when Cole would reach the Major Leagues, we considered June 15 the best bet. That was operating under the idea that Charlie Morton would be able to slide in coming off a few rehab starts. Now it doesn’t seem like Morton is ready. Also keep in mind that while the “Super Two” deadline (to avoid an extra arbitration year for Cole) is in flux, the New York Mets are preparing to call up pitching prospect Zack Wheeler next weekend after avoiding his Super Two status. It looks like the Super Two deadline is close or has passed.
A roster move would have to be made to get Cole onto the 40-man roster.
UPDATE (5:47 pm ET) — The Super Two “deadline” could be Monday or close to it, according to front office executives spoken to by Biertempfel. His full report on the possibility of Cole starting Tuesday can be found here.