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...
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