The Pittsburgh Pirates have little to be concerned with Gerrit Cole heading into the season. The big right-hander looks comfortable making the opponents look uncomfortable as he gets his work in during Grapefruit League action. The spring games mean little until a starting pitcher leaves with shoulder discomfort or gets bombed for five runs in a rough inning.
None of that is happening with the Pirates BAMF.
More specifically, here is what the right-hander did today in Grapefruit League action against the Minnesota Twins. Cole recorded three more strikeouts, three groundouts, two flyouts and his catcher gunned out a baserunner.
Gerrit Cole’s first pitch got Alex Presley to groundout to second base.
Another, yeh another one by Robert Adino allowed Brian Dozier to reach first base. Dozier has some good speed and the Twins got him moving.
Joe Mauer hit a line drive single to center field and Dozier was standing on third base.
Josh Willingham hit a sac fly and Dozier scored. 1-1 ballgame. It’s easy to think very few errors will occur behind Cole during the season. Certainly Andino won’t be playing in the Pirates infield, but I am going to pay very little attention to this game. I would like Cole to turn into a monster when teammates make errors behind him, but another part of me thinks he focues on pitching, and a good hitter in Mauer made him pay. That is all.
Oswaldo Aricia went down swinging to end the inning, but Cole had thrown 25 pitches which effectively killed any opportunity of going four innings.
In the bottom of the second Cole quickly got a flyout.
Cole then allowed a single to Chris Parmelee.
Josmil Pinto followed with another single.
Cole got Jason Bartlett swinging and Bucs catcher Chris Stewart gunned down Parmelee trying to steal third base to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Presley led off with a groundout to Pedro Alvarez.
Dozier grounded out.
But that damn Joe Mauer worked a walk, but Cole got Willingha swinging to end the inning and finish off his work.