The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem most teams would love to have; they have a lot of pitching on their hands, which means Gerrit Cole may be the odd man out when everyone gets healthy.
A.J Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, and James McDonald are all currently on the disabled list. Rodriguez and McDonald are currently on rehab stints with Indianapolis.
McDonald continues to struggle in AAA Indianapolis, and his career with the Pirates may be coming to an end.
Jeanmar Gomez made his last last rehab stint last week and is expected to return to the Pirates’ rotation Wednesday night against the Marinars. Gomez has done a solid job as a starter, but he is likely to return to the bullpen once everyone is healthy.
Despite three solid starts against three former Cy Young winners, Gerrit Cole is likely to be the odd man out. Cole is 3-0 with the Pirates with a 3.44 ERA.
Cole has had excellent control in all three appearances. He did not issue a walk through his first 18 innings in the big leagues. His first walk came Friday night against Mark Trumbo.
Cole even topped 101 MPH, and nine percent of his pitches reach the 100 MPH-mark on the gun. The only problem is that he still has options on his contract.
According to General Manager Neal Huntington, it makes “smart business sense” to move Cole back to Triple-A once the pitching staff is healthy.
Another factor against Cole’s case for the Major Leagues is the potential for Super 2 status. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Michael Sanserino said that could cost the Pirates millions in arbitration a couple years from now. By demoting Cole, the Pirates free up a rotation spot and avoid Super 2 status in the long run with a demotion.
Even though Cole may not be on the roster in a few weeks, this young man is sure to be back soon and has a very bright future with the Pirates.