Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 10/27/14
Gerrit Cole has already reached his 2012 innings totals. (Photo Credit: David Hague) There has been some speculation the last few days that the Pirates could skip Gerrit Cole’s next start, going with a four man rotation for the next week due to the off-day on Monday. The Pirates could skip Cole’s start and keep everyone else on five days rest. That would allow them to reduce Cole’s innings, which is going to be a concern down the stretch. Neal Huntington has said that he believes Cole can finish the season, rather than being shut down like Stephen Strasburg. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cole will finish the season as a starter. Cole currently has 134 innings this year. That’s already two more than he had in the entire 2012 season in the minors, although he did have two innings in the Triple-A post-season, so he’s pretty much even. The Pirates can skip him this coming week, but if there are no postponed games he would have to pitch the 17th and the 22nd. Also, with no delays, they could skip him again due to the off-day on the 26th, making his next start the 31st of August. From there, his next start wouldn’t have to be until the 11th of September, due to an off-day on September 5th. Of course one rain delay could throw all of this off, but the Pirates can basically cut three starts out from Cole’s innings over the next month, giving him four starts in that span. We know that Wandy Rodriguez won’t be back on September 1st, but if he comes back in the middle of September, that could be the perfect opportunity to remove Cole from the rotation, switch him over to the bullpen, and drastically cut down on his innings. He’d get about 20-30 innings with his four starts over the next month, then maybe 5-10 more innings the rest of the season in the bullpen. That would put him about 40 innings at most over his 2012 totals, which isn’t bad when you consider that Cole also threw during instructs last year. The move to limit Cole wouldn’t necessarily hurt the team. He’s got the potential to be a top of the rotation pitcher one day, but that’s not what he is right now. He’s also not going to be as effective down the stretch once his innings start adding up and he starts tiring. We could be seeing that already, as Cole has given up seven earned runs in 10.1 innings over his last two starts. The best case scenario for the playoffs would be Cole moving to the bullpen where he can just throw 100 MPH with his plus slider, and Wandy Rodriguez returning as the number three starter in the playoff rotation. The best approach with Cole’s innings looks to be a move to the bullpen in September. That could happen when Rodriguez returns, although the Pirates have the pitching depth to allow for Cole to either move to the bullpen altogether, or piggyback with someone like Jeanmar Gomez or Brandon Cumpton and reduce his innings. It will be interesting to see how the Pirates approach this. For now, it appears they’re going the route of skipping him when they can. That hasn’t been officially announced, but it seems obvious that this is what will happen in the coming week. Links and Notes **Check out the newest episode of the Pirates Prospects Podcast: P3 Episode 16: What Would the Pirates’ Playoff Rotation Look Like? **Prospect Watch: Rocky Start to Taillon’s Triple-A Career; Meadows and Bell Homer. **Howard’s Homer, Cunningham’s Clutch Hitting Lead Curve Over The Senators. **Clay Holmes Throws Six Shutout Innings, Josh Bell Homers. **DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Drop Nationals, Rain Shortens Both Games. **Minor League Schedule: Dodson Returns To Bradenton.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.