Pittsburgh Pirates Rum Bunter Staff 2017 Predictions: David

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

CY Young

Is Gerrit Cole an ace?  That’s up to interpretation. Of course, he’s seventh in FIP- the last two seasons, better than Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Price, Madison Bumgarner, etc.  He’s 16th in ERA-, 14th among the top 30 in FIP-, but his ERA- is better than Jose Quintana, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Carlos Carrasco.  Yes, he does not average that many innings per start, he ranks 22nd among the top 30 in FIP-.  His 6.11 innings per start the last two years is similar to Carlos Carrasco (6.0), Noah Syndergaard (6.16), Carlos Martinez (6.17), and Chris Archer (6.17).  It’s up to interpretation, there’s no set definition.

Cole was an All-Star in 2015 and struggled last season with various injuries.  But what is often forgotten is through August 7th, Cole had a 73 ERA- and 71 FIP-.  He struggled his next three starts, opponents did post a .459 BAbip, however, opponents did hit the ball 90.7 mph off of Cole during that time.  He was placed on the disabled list, made one disastrous start, and was shut down again.

Cole is healthy once again and that is a good sign.  When he is pitching well the team will do well when he’s not, they will struggle.  Cole will bounce back and be 2015 Cole again.  He is one of the best pitchers in the game, when healthy.