Pirates prospect prepares for AA debut
Gerrit Cole said it will be just another game when he takes the mound Wednesday night in Altoona for the first time at the Double-A level.
Spoken like a true pitcher. Cole cannot afford to get overly excited about his debut for the Curve, or anything else at this point.
"It's something I've gotten a lot better at, and it's definitely part of my routine now," he said.
But Cole's promotion from High-A Bradenton represents a major leap for the Pirates' top prospect, if not the entire organization. The club invested the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft and a record $8 million bonus in the 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander, He is the cornerstone of a mission to build a dominant pitching staff and bring respectability to a long-scuffling franchise.
Cole, 22, signed in mid-August just before the deadline. It was too late to play in the minors, but he pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. After a brief spring training fling with the Pirates, he started the 2012 season in Bradenton, going 5-1 while striking out 69 and walking 21 in 67 innings. He had a 1.96 ERA in his past 10 games.
"Poise has been the primary focus for him," Pirates assistant general manager Kyle Stark said. "He has made huge strides in this area - trusting himself, not trying to do too much, staying composed and so on. This helped him in his preparation and how he competes every fifth day."
The Pirates like to take their time with prospects and appear to be treating Cole no differently. The Arizona Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are quickly moving Cole's former UCLA teammate, pitcher Trevor Bauer, through their organization.
Picked third overall last year, Bauer has excelled in Double-A and Triple-A this season, and his promotion to the big club might happen sooner than later. Cole was asked if that makes him more anxious to get to the Pirates.
"I just try to focus on what you can control," he said. "It's a different organization, maybe a different situation with Arizona. The only thing I know is what I do here and what I'm supposed to do and go about my business."
Rob Biertempfel contributed to this report. Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cole struggles as Brewers continue Miller mastery over Pirates
- No bitter brew for Mercer over reduced playing time after injury
- Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
- Gameday: Pirates at Brewers, Sept. 2, 2015
- Gameday: Pirates at Brewers, Sept. 1, 2015
- Gameday: Pirates at Brewers, Sept. 3, 2015
- Pirates notebook: 6 September call-ups include first-timer Diaz
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- Rossi: Continuing legend of Pirate Ray
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers