Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 8/11/13
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

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

Mickelson likely committed no crime even if he gambled

Report: Dwyane Wade to decline option, become a free agent

Darren McFadden: I feel like a rookie again

Report: Mavericks a favorite to land DeAndre Jordan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Kevin Love likely to re-sign with Cavaliers

Bo Ryan announces he'll coach Wisconsin one more season

Jadeveon Clowney must balance expectations in recovery

Report: Suns may shop Eric Bledsoe in trade talks

Cam Newton ready to embrace pressure from massive contract

Are the Patriots treated differently than other teams?

Fred Smoot: I played with gay players, 'everyone knew'

Bobby Portis brings donuts for media at press conference

John Calipari shares his thoughts on Confederate flag

Steve Weatherford, Jason Kelce get into Twitter beef

Larry Nance Jr. apologized to 'Mr. Bryant' for rapist tweet

J.J. Watt 'tackles' stage crasher at Zac Brown Band show

Jimmy Butler reportedly wants to leave Bulls, sign with Lakers

Selecting the 2015 National League All-Stars

Taking a look at the Philadelphia Sixers' latest horde

Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn showcase sword fighting skills

Five injuries having the biggest effect on MLB playoff race

Jeff Francoeur makes one of the worst throws in history

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

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Kobe gives great quote on friendship

Winners, losers and steals of the NHL Draft

Carmelo calls Porzingis a 'steal'

WATCH: J.J. Watt scores hockey goal

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.