A.J. Burnett to Start Thursday, Gerrit Cole to Skip a Start

Clint Hurdle announced the starting rotation for the upcoming Milwaukee Brewers series and A.J. Burnett will get the opener on Thursday. It was also announced that Gerrit Cole will be skipped the next time through the rotation to give him a rest and limit his innings. His next start will be during the doubleheader against the Cubs on September 15th. Burnett last pitched on July 30th.

The rest of the rotation is as follows:

Tomorrow: Francisco Liriano

Wed. vs Reds: J.A. Happ

Thurs. vs Brewers: A.J. Burnett

Fri. vs Brewers: Charlie Morton

Sat. vs Brewers: Jeff Locke

Sun. vs Brewers: Liriano

  • Batman light on the Pittsburgh building one of the coolest gestures in all of sports. Very classy and rad.

  • Boras wins another one

    • The guy is an ass, but if I had a son in the same circumstance there is no doubt who I would want representing him. Boras will not win – the Doctor will win!

  • I really respect and appreciate Hurdle, but I have to agree with some postings here that in the chase for a pennant, you have to put your best out there. You just can’t put Rodriguez at SS when you have 4 other better SS on the team, and all but one has a better bat.
    Snider also should never see the field, PH only as the other options are simply better.
    Locke I’m ok with, although if Burnett can pitch effectively he clearly needs to take Locke’s spot. Not sure of the stats lately but Frankie hasn’t exactly been lights out lately either for those who are harping on Locke. It’s a tough and long season we’ve got some good options for the rotation. Play the hottest hands in the field and on the mound and stick with them. For an example of this, please see the normal Cardinals lineup… pretty much the same most days.

    • Locke I am not OK with at all. I do not understand, at all, why Hurdle continues to go with him. Consider:
      -Player A: 4.03 ERA in 1st half, 4.66 ERA overall, 4.12 FIP
      -Player B: 3.78 ERA overall, 3.82 FIP
      Which would you prefer?

      And as for Liriano? Post-All-Star he has not been good, or as good as we have come to expect, I agree…however: 4.50 ERA in 44.0 IP, 8 starts…versus Locke: 5.88 ERA, in 49 IP, 9 starts.

      I agree with what you say about Rodriguez and Snider. And I cannot disagree with the fact that it would be nice to see a more consistent lineup on the field.

      • How ” nice ” should it be Jared ? Nice for you ? Nice for me ? Or nice for the organization ? Hilarious !

    • BB: Good points all the way around. I was surprised at the lineup because Jordy Mercer has been playing well, and has missed a good part of the season with injury – why he would need a rest is beyond my comprehension. Leaving Marte out of the lineup after he has started hitting again is also a head scratcher, and for a LH hitter? Sometimes Clint has that riverboat gambler mentality and sees things nobody else does, but he has been excellent for the Pirates.

      Jared: You can quote all the season numbers you want, but Morton and Locke combined for 11 IP and only 2 earned runs Saturday and Monday, and we lost both of them in close games. The pitchers did their jobs, the hitters did not. Morton and Locke have been shaky, but if we need pitchers to throw a shutout so we can possibly tie or win, we are in a bad place.

      • The numbers don’t lie…if you continue to run Jeff Locke out there you’re going to get bad results, and losses, much much more often than the alternative. Does that sound like a smart choice in a playoff race. Remember we are only 2 ahead of the Cubs…not 12.

        • “more often than the alternative”. See, without naming the alternative thats just not true. Liz? Worley? You really think we win “much more often” assuredly with those guys?

          Seems like, while Locke can and does struggle, we assume the replacement is an automatic upgrade. Currently, i think the alternatives can easily also lose us games.

    • I have to think the 95 degrees and high humidity played a part too. I didn’t like seeing Rodriguez playing or Marte sitting anymore than the next guy, but I have to believe he knows more about it than I do.

      • That comment should make the most sense of all.

      • Agreed. Quick turnaround, travel, heat….had this come after a day off I would be livid. But like it or not, at least some of it was part of a schedule quirk.

        And as I said before, St Louis got hammered.

    • Brian, were you actually paying attention to the St. Louis series ? Who, including McCutchen, was swinging the best bat ?

  • I know it was a bad loss and there is plenty of angst about the lineup, but St Louis got smacked today too. I imagine the records of teams playing the Monday afternoon after the Sunday night game are pretty poor. Throw in some travel, even more so.

    • Yes, the Cards got shut out by Dan Haren. Which, on a scale of MLB futility, is actually worse than getting shut out by Jeff Locke. Or deSclafani for that matter.

  • I like the extra rest for Cole. Good investment. I’m sure it will be Locke he pops back in to replace after the extra days off, too.

    • Agree on the extra rest foe Cole. Think you are right on Cole for Locke, makes the most sense to me. Regarding “bucs” comment above setting Cole up for those 4 starts…should also put him in line for Wild Card game.

  • While all wins are important, this allows Cole to face Cubs twice, plus Dodgers and Cards.

  • Hurdle, continuing his impressive trend of giving his team the worst chances of winning…

    • Yep….worst mgr in baseball…I have NO idea how he’s guided us to the playoffs 3 years in a row!

      • Make a valid excuse for his lineups and keeping Locke in the rotation please.

      • Players overcome….

        • Sean Rodriguez at SS is just baffling…even if you wanted him in the lineup bc his bat had been a little better lately. SS?!

          • Second most played position in his career.

            • Except that you actually have two actual SS available…

              • 3 actual SS: Mercer, Kang and Florimon

              • Mercer played yesterday and sucks against sliders. There is a real effect on performance when playing a day game after a night game. The Pirates are big on rest, a good amount of rotation was to be expected considering they played at 8:00 last night.

                Pirates apparently felt better with Kang at 3rd and Rodriguez at the position he has played more often in his career. I think some of the moves are debatable but the veracity with which some question and criticize reeks of myopia and hindsight.

                • How about we quit juggling the lineup every other day and play the best guys at each position and give the lineup a chance to gel. How many lineups have been the same for consecutive days in the last couple weeks? We could have a lineup that puts up a 9 or 7 spot and then change it the next day and get no production and then change it again the next day and get production only to change it again the next. This isn’t an all star game…this isn’t little league where everyone has to play…and Hurdle isn’t selecting the lineup based on match ups so he can’t argue that. Just STOP.

                  Just because you have a deeper bench does not mean that you need to get everyone in or get them starts.

                  • Incredibly silly idea that lineups need to “gel”. Are you telling me that a hitter won’t be able to hit if he’s not used to the guy ahead of him or behind him in the order?

            • First start at the position all year…and in a pennant race.

              • Agreed . Stupid move. His decisions keep getting more baffling. Wait til the second game of the doubleheader when he starts Diaz Morse Rodriguez Florimon Harrison Snider Decker and Ishikawa. Can’t wait to watch that one.

                • I wish I knew as much as all of you on how to manage a team. I’d probably have a better little league team if I did. I never knew there was this much management material in the Pittsvurgh area.

              • Hurdle asked Rodriguez to do something he has done for 20% of his career, he did very poorly. Fielding a ground ball is fielding a ground ball whether you are at 3rd or 2nd. I think the onus is on Rodriguez.

                Didn’t the Giants run Ishikawa out to left in the playoffs.

                • Andrew, if Hurdle and team thought that Sean Rodriguez was going to be productive as a starter at SS then why would they not give him even one start there with JayHay or Mercer down? Not one…he clearly wasn’t a starting option then…but he is now that they’re back and we are deeper into the race? Sorry…I don’t buy it.

                  • Harrison isn’t a SS, and Rodriguez isn’t a starting SS, he is a utility middle infielder, pretty much been his career role.

                    The Pirates clearly believe in rest and trying to negate fatigue, the entire off-season was about getting a productive bench. The only period of a stable lineup was when both Harrison and Mercer were hurt. They don’t have a stable lineup because they have some starters with bad platoon splits and have had some under-performance from some projected starters.

                    Who are the best 8, it depends on the match ups. (I’m not in the Hurdle fan club I just believe that managers revieve a lot of undue criticism, and Hurdle understands match-ups. http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/5/16/4338176/pregame-hurdle-discusses-the-role-of-pitcher-hitter-matchups-in .)

                    The Pirates had a day game after a night game, they rotated the lineup in this situation all year, plus they had to travel. You can question the some of rotation, maybe they overthink it, but the Hurdle wasn’t asking Michael Morse to go out to short like it is being portrayed.

                    To believe the Hurdle is a net negative you have to believe that Huntington is so great a GM that he puts together such great rosters that they continually overcome Hurdle’s ineptitude, while simultaneously be so dumb that he cannot see what a net negative Hurdle is.

          • I actually had a bigger problem with snider…

            • Also an interesting choice…he’s a bench role player with no chance, I would hope, at being on the playoff roster, and you start him in a playoff race? It just is baffling.

          • It is hard to believe that Hurdle chose to field that lineup today and Saturday. I wonder if the GM is consulted. Are they being “rested” against their wishes? Downgrades in the field or at the plate weaken the collective strength of the lineup. The results are not a surprise.

          • Agree totally!

      • Honey Nut Cheerios! I just figured it out.

      • lee, you have to admit that lineup today was at best, puzzling

    • I hope whatever you do in life you are absolutely the greatest at it there will ever be. I guess I’m just of the mindset that it’s not so bad being a Pirate fan right now. I enjoy the game the players and all that goes with it. I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of a fan.

      • I have to be the absolute best at what I do because a manager we pay millions of dollars to can’t figure out how to fill out his best lineup card night in and night out with any consistency at all or be able to honestly defend them with a straight face? I don’t see what the two have in common

        • I just know thst positive attitude creates positive results. Hurdle manages one day at a time win or lose. Great leaders use different techniques to motivate and win. Some managers are Brilliant at X’s and O’s and others get the players to play hard. This years team is not the most talented in baseball and no one can argue that but we are one of the teams that will play postseason. I think that deserves our respect.

          • This team is talented enough to win the division. This team is good enough to be better than below .500 against the Central…against the Brewers and Cincy…better than how we started…and certainly deserve to have the best lineups put out every night that gives us the best chances to win the game. Can you honestly say that was so today or Saturday?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 7, 2015 4:42 pm

    Another poor effort today by this schizophrenic team. 7 losses out of the last 9 games, of which 6 were against losing teams. Poor defense, no hitting, and another mediocre performance by Locke. I guess this team wants to play the 1 game p km ayoff on the road this year. Front office is apparently content with just making the playoffs.

    • We have little chance to catch the Cards. We had to sweep them in St Louis.

      Besides..when you keep losing to Milw and Cincy you really don’t deserve to win the division.

      • We are only 2 ahead of the Cubs and the way we’re playing that won’t likely hold either.

      • By far the most frustrating thing about this season is the record vs Mil and Cincy. And you can’t put all of the blame for that on Hurdle. I’m certainly not a fan of some of his decisions, but I wonder if ppl who want him gone think about the fact that then you’d have to find someone who would do better. Good luck with that.

      • He who have little faith! Did you see that lineup today. Hurdle had big money on the Reds. Padding his retirement. He’s going to run barbooth games in Toronto Ohio if he keeps this crap up!

  • I’m fine with giving Cole rest…and I’m fine with AJ on Thursday, I mentioned it as a possibility earlier today…I am NOT ok with Locke continuing to get starts. Apparently we aren’t very serious about either winning the division or even holding off the Cubs.

  • I would think this move has more to do with the upcoming double-header against the Cubs following the Brewers series.