What is there to talk about today? Countless political scandals? No…. Two accidents shutting down the northbound and southbound sides of Interstate 81 last night? Nah that’s not it either.
Oh right, today is the debut of uber-prospect Gerrit Cole! A lot of people want him up, a lot think it’s too early, he’s here, let’s hope for the best!
Cole has turned it on lately in AAA. His numbers are good. It’s just the strikeouts. So low. So much lower than usual.
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||6||3||3.04||13||74.0||50||26||25||4||29||54||1.068||6.1||0.5||3.5||6.6||1.86|
|AA (1 season)||AA||3||6||2.90||12||59.0||54||28||19||2||23||60||1.305||8.2||0.3||3.5||9.2||2.61|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||5||1||2.55||13||67.0||53||24||19||5||21||69||1.104||7.1||0.7||2.8||9.3||3.29|
Now. What’s up with the strikeouts. I know some people would have you believe that’s not a bad thing. Like it’s somehow a good thing guys are putting the ball in play substantially more this year. That’s what we call excuse making.
Now. Is there a good reason for the numbers? Possibly. The Pirates minor league system is pretty much known as a fastball academy. The bottom line is fastball command. That’s what they teach, that’s what they stretch.
Now. When Cole came out of college his biggest problem was that his fastball tended to get flat and he’d leave it up in the zone. If the guy is grooving fastballs the overwhelming majority of the time it’s likely to happen more in a game, even if it’s less often as previously.
Now. AAA hitters are the most advanced hitters in the minors. If they know a guy is throwing mostly fastballs they will wait on fastballs. He has a really good fastball so it’s not like they’re necessarily going to crush it, just make contact and put it in play more.
Cole should be more free to mix his pitches on the senior circuit. It’s not as if this is a fastball only guy. Cole has a devastating slider at times and a good change. The fact that he can vary his fastball between low and high 90s is also an asset.
Cole might not be great out of the box, his K problems might hurt him against the best hitters in the world.
Cole might be great out of the box. An expanded usage of his arsenal could lead to the K problems being an anomaly.
Regardless of the outcome today is a big day for the Pirates.
It’s also a big day for Cole in another aspect. Brandon Crawford (Giant SS) has a sister. His sister is Gerrit Cole’s girlfriend. Do you hit your girlfriend’s brother? I at least brush him back.
I don’t understand what happened to Tim Lincecum. Did guys figure him out? Did he change something in his ridiculous mechanics? Is he just Steve Blass? Who knows. Fact is he went from a perennial Cy Young candidate to a very regular guy over night.
It’s to the point now that people don’t consider him an elite talent any more. The dude still shows flashes, which is enough for me to worry about this matchup.
Thing is the Pirates crushed Lincecum last year. Embarassed him. Between the game against the Pirates and his previous game against the Nats he gave up 13 runs in 6.2 total innings.
I sure as hell wouldn’t mind that outing repeated.
His career numbers aren’t great against the Bucs either. Maybe they just know how to hit this guy?
Keep in mind that awful outing skews them. He also has a complete game against the Pirates.
First Pitch: 7:05 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLBN, MLB.TV, CSN-BA