Found June 11, 2013 on Raise the Jolly Roger!:
It’s Gerrit Cole day here in Pittsburgh, and you should be excited about it. There’s definitely a lot of hype going around town and the baseball world in anticipation of tonight’s game. PNC Park won’t be sold out, but it should have an above-average weeknight crowd full of die-hard fans that quickly bought tickets to see the top prospect make his debut .MLB Network has picked up the telecast as well. You’d have to go way back to find a debut of a Pirates prospect that received this much attention. Pedro Alvarez‘s first game was fairly exciting, but it was in the middle of a terrible season with very little advance notice – hence a mostly uneventful atmosphere (also on a weeknight). This isn’t going to be like Stephen Strasburg‘s electric introduction to the baseball world (that came at the expense of our Bucs). Well, it probably isn’t. Cole has the stuff to do that, but as you likely know by know, he hasn’t exactly been lighting the stat sheets on fire in the minor leagues. That’s a concern, but read this excellent feature from Travis Sawchick at the Trib and you’ll feel a lot better about it. Cole is not here to be the Pirates’ ace right away and rack up double digit K’s consistently. He is here to help the Pirates win baseball games. He is ready to be an effective major league pitcher – not an ace – and is by far the Pirates’ best option to fill an empty rotation spot going forward. Even if he doesn’t strike out ten-plus or even make a quality start tonight, that’s the exciting part. Cole isn’t really supposed to be the featured attraction in this rotation yet – that designation still belongs to A.J. Burnett, followed closely by Francisco Liriano if he keeps it up…and maybe even Wandy Rodriguez.  Cole should be able to take on that role eventually, but for now he’s essentially just a reinforcement for the Pirates. An ideal and potentially really awesome reinforcement, but not a leader or immediate ace. I still haven’t seen Cole pitch more than one inning, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pirates’ choice to draft him over some of the other top options, and his minor league numbers aren’t quite where I’d want them to be for a #1 pick. That said, I am feeling pretty good about his chances to be able to handle that “reinforcement” role. The strikeouts haven’t been there, but the recent scouting reports and descriptions of his last few outings lead me to believe that he really has learned (and is still learning, of course) how to pitch as the Trib article indicates. He has the well-known upper 90′s fastball, a changeup that is faster than some other big-league fastballs, plus a curve and a developing slider. With that kind of arsenal and an improved approach (plus the added bonus of Russell Martin behind the plate), it’s not hard to imagine him succeeding even without a ton of strikeouts – just as he has in his current stretch of 18.2 scoreless innings. Location is a concern, but it’s certainly more forgivable for Cole to miss with a fastball than it is for, say, Jeff Locke. Composure for a rookie is also a variable, but that should come with time – and he’s not a stranger to big situations, having pitched in the College World Series. With Cole in the rotation, the Pirates are adding a huge piece to the team that should continue to improve and help their chances as the season goes on. And yes, I do think he’ll stay in the rotation – Neal Huntington didn’t commit either way, but it sounded to me (on his Sunday radio show) that he intends to have Cole here for good unless he really struggles for a few starts and needs to go back. The Bucs have already kept Cole down long enough to ensure an extra year of control, although by bringing him up today they run a slight risk of making him a Super Two player and giving him an extra arbitration year (meaning he’d still be under team control for the same amount of time, but would make more money). Regardless of whether or not he’s here for good, I think Cole is ready to handle the majors. I don’t think he’s ready to dominate, but he’s ready to help the Pirates – and hopefully will start progressing (and maybe show some flashes) towards ace-type dominance along the way. The first step is tonight at 7:05. PHOTO: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

The Book on Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole makes his Pirates debut tonight. The top prospect in the system, Gerrit Cole, is making his major league debut tonight against the San Francisco Giants. I’m not sure how many people need an introduction to Cole’s stuff. He’s been the top prospect in the system for the last two years, and I’ve written about his stuff countless times. Plus, you all can just turn...

Gerrit Cole's major league debut will come against his girlfriend's brother

Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, the #1 overall pick in the 2011 Draft, will be making his major league debut tonight against the Giants.. The game will be televised nationally on MLB Network (except in the Pittsburgh and San Francisco home markets). The world of baseball is excited. There's just one little awkward problem for Cole He will be facing his girlfriend...

Gerrit Cole shines in major league debut

Gerrit Cole For two years, Pirate fans have been counting down the days until the debut of Gerrit Cole, and on Tuesday, the fans got what they were waiting for. He made all the anticipation and hype worth the wait. Cole blanked the defending World Series champion Giants through the first six innings of his Major League debut and led the Pirates to an 8-2 victory. A PNC Park crowd...

Pirates Notebook: Colentine’s Day? Colearoo? Coleapalooza?

Whatever you want to call it, today is the day many Pirates fans have looked to for two years — the day Gerrit Cole makes his big league debut. 2011 No.1 overall pick Gerrit Cole will make his Major League debut tonight at PNC Park against San Francisco. Cole, of course, was the No. 1 overall selection in 2011 out of UCLA and thanks to a combination of stuff and need will take...

Gerrit Cole To Debut For Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates took Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. Just over two years removed from being picked first overall in the 2011 MLB Draft, Gerrit Cole will make his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night against the San Francisco Giants. Cole entered this season as a consensus top 10 prospect in baseball. Baseball America ranked him...

Gerrit Cole gives the Pittsburgh Pirates one of the better rotations in baseball

Yielding only two runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, Gerrit Cole helped the Pirates defeat the San Francisco Giants 8-2 on Tuesday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Taken first overall out of UCLA in 2011, the 6-foot-4, 220 pound Cole (1-0, 2.84 ERA) consistently reached 96 mph and was in complete control throughout his debut with the Pirates. “Really, I couldn’t have asked...

Prospecting Week 11: Gerrit Cole, Zach Wheeler

boomer-44 Another weekly look at who’s HOT and who’s NOT in minor league baseball to help your fantasy team. This week we bring you a special all HOT pitching edition including some of the best young arms in the minor leagues. Now grab your bags and hop aboard the bus to prospect land! HOTGerrit Cole  P | PITChristmas came early this year and we all are getting a big...

Pirates Future Ace Gerrit Cole Dazzles in MLB Debut

The first-overall pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gerrit Cole, dazzled in his major league debut on Tuesday night, living up to the hype that has followed the top pitching prospect throughout his career at UCLA and the Pirates minor league system.After receiving his big league call-up from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day, Cole joined the club...

Happy Gerrit Cole Day!

Today is Gerrit Cole’s Major League Debut. As he walked out to do his warm-up session for his first career start, they said it best on MLB Tonight (on MLB Network). “This is how they’re supposed to look”. Here’s the scouting report from Baseball Prospectus on the former #1 overall pick: Cole fits the physical profile of a workhorse frontline starter, standing 6-foot-4...

Pittsburgh Pirates Gerrit Cole masterful in major league debut

In his first major league start of what should be a career to track, Gerrit Cole looked every bit the part of first overall draft pick (2011) for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  And not just against any old team, but against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, against 2-time Cy Young Award winner and 4-time All Star Tim Lincecum.  And his girlfriend’s brother happens...

It’s Gerrit Cole

I’m going to attempt to cut this one off at the pass.  I don’t want to see this go as far as the McCutcheon misspelling of Andrew McCutchen. Or the Neil Walker, Neal Huntington inversion dichotomy. The name is Gerrit Cole.  Not Garrett Cole.  Not Garret Cole.  Not Gerritt Cole. Not Garrit Cole. Not Garritt…

Gerrit Cole Defeats the Giants in Major League Debut, Marco Scutaro Injured

The Pittsburgh Pirates highly touted pitching prospect, and former No.1 overall draft pick, Gerrit Cole did not disappoint one bit in his Major League debut Tuesday night. Well, unless you are a Giants fan that is. The 22-year old righty threw six and a third innings in his debut, allowing two runs on seven hits. The final line doesn’t show just how dominant he was though. Cole...

Midweek Musings

This could be the year the Pittsburgh Pirates break their 20-year old postseason drought. It will most certainly be the year they break their 20-year run of finishing below .500.Break the Curse of Sid Bream's SlideThe big story out of PNC Park tonight was the debut of Gerrit Cole, the number 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft. Since turning professional out of UCLA, Cole has...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants – Game 65

So Gerrit Cole, right?  Good outing, definitely something to build on.  It appears he is going to do everything he can to stay on this team, which is great.  There is really no need for Jeanmar Gomez to ever make another start for the Pirates. This is a pretty huge revelation. Hurdle also said that…

Gerrit Cole Wins MLB Debut

With the first overall selection of the 2011 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates took UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole.  The Yankees had drafted him at the bottom of the 2008 first round but he refused to sign...some have to wonder what was going through his mind at the time.  It took Cole just 200 minor league innings to make his debut and he looked good both pitching, and swinging the...
MLB 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!

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.