Gerrit Cole: It’s Time.


February 20, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburg Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole (75) works out during camp at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of speculation over the last few days as to whether or not Gerrit Cole will be called up to fill a hole in the rotation that the Pirates now have because of injuries to Wandy Rodriguez and Jeanmar Gomez. Now, we’re beginning to hear that Cole will likely get a call to make a start for the Pirates on Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants.

This is the right call for the Pirates. Cole has been dominant recently, and is currently on an 18 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak.

Some would argue that the Pirates need to go to Charlie Morton or James McDonald to cover the spot, but that’s not what the Pirates need right now. Cole has had a few control issues with his fastball, and he might have been overly reliant on his secondary pitches so far this season, but he’s better at his job than Morton or McDonald could be, and needs development in the big leagues as well.

His job is to get hitters out and keep the other team from scoring runs, and right now he’s more ready to do that at the major league level than any other option the Pirates have.

I’ve preached patience with Cole all along, knowing the ins and outs of developing a high end starter and making sure that he’s fully ready when he debuts is a hard thing, and the best thing to do is not to rush guys in. Cole had a good spring training, had a bit of a rough start to his season in Indianapolis, but he’s turned that around, and shown the dominance that we expect from him.

The Pirates are in a situation where they need somebody to step into the rotation. Gerrit Cole is in a position where he’s pitched well enough recently to get a call for the big leagues. The Pirates need to give him the opportunity that he’s earned, and call him up to the big league team. If the Pirates make the right choice, next Tuesday is going to be a very exciting day.