Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Cole Train rides to win #15
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.
The Cole Train rides to win #15
After being stuck on win #14 for over a month, Gerrit Cole continued to surge forward and finally earned win #15 on the season, good for a tie for second in the National League, behind only Madison Bumagarner and Jake Arrieta. After going through a rough patch following the All-Star break, Cole has had back-to-back great starts in a row, lasting seven-plus innings both times and allowing only one earned run over that stretch. This is the time of year that Cole turns it on, and we’ll see if he can continue that when he next takes the mound in September. Cole has a career ERA of 2.78 in September/October which, surprisingly, is only his third best month by career ERA, behind July and March/April. In any case, it will be exciting to see Cole turn it on in September.
In terms of the rest of the staff in September/October, Francisco Liriano has a career ERA of 4.75 in that time, his second-worst month by ERA. Charlie Morton has a career ERA of 3.87 then, his second-best month. Jeff Locke has an ERA of 6.03, his worst month. J.A. Happ has an ERA of 3.66, his best month. And A.J. Burnett, if and when he returns, has a career ERA of 4.03, his third worst month.
What does this mean? Well, signs could be pointing towards Locke being the odd man out of the rotation when Burnett returns. And Liriano’s numbers might be skewed by his time in Minnesota. I could see most, if not all of the starters having a good run down the stretch in September.
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Potential September call-ups
We’ve written a couple of pieces here at RumBunter recently about the positives and negatives of calling up two of the Pirates’ best prospects, Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell. If you haven’t already, make sure to browse our website and check those out. In essence, while the possibility of calling up Glasnow or Bell is a long shot, there will be other September call-ups when rosters expand. One name that we’ll be previewing in the coming days is Alen Hanson. He may be the most intriguing potential call-up for the playoff run. Hanson has the upside of a starting middle infielder with a great bat and average defense, the latter of which could be even better if he’s put at second as opposed to shortstop. Just looking at this year, his bat could be good off the bench and his speed could be put to use as a pinch-runner. Also keep an eye out for guys like Travis Snider, Jaff Decker, and Tony Sanchez, among others, once rosters expand.
Around the net
In more news about Burnett’s imminent return, the pitcher says that his arm is the best that it’s felt in a long time.
Fox Sports unveiled their latest NL MVP watch. Andrew McCutchen has risen to be one of the main challengers to Bryce Harper, so make sure to check that out.
And make sure to read this piece from the Tribune-Review by Rob Biertempfel about how Clint Hurdle will have a few different options for the rotation once Burnett returns, as well as some other notes about the team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates now sit at a season-high 28 games over .500. A series with the lowly Rockies awaits, and there’s no reason that the Pirates shouldn’t take another series.