Pirates notebook: Cole still not dominating Triple-A
MILWAUKEE — Gerrit Cole has not performed like industry analysts expect a consensus top-10 overall prospect to pitch in Triple-A this season.
Cole has posted below average strikeout (6.5 strikeouts per nine innings) and walk (4.3) rates to go along with a 3.67 ERA despite owning a rare skill-set that includes three plus pitches: fastball, slider and changeup. If seeking a positive indicator, hitters have had a difficult time squaring him up; he's holding opponents to a .207 batting average.
After a rough first inning Saturday with Indianapolis, Cole regrouped to produce a final line of two runs and three hits allowed over six innings, walking three and striking out four.
“He's not a robot,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday. “They are men playing the game, and other guys get pumped up to play against him and to hit against him, so if he's not at the top of the game there's a lot of Triple-A hitters who can take advantage of mistakes. It's not all about the guy. It's about the league.”
Unlike fellow hard-throwing, right-handed Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, who has not thrown his curveball as often this season to focus on fastball command, Hurdle said Cole has not been restricted in what he throws.
“He has tried to find a better way to command all of his pitches,” Hurdle said.
• Pedro Alvarez said he has felt better at the plate recently, and perhaps results are beginning to testify to that as the Pirates' third baseman hit two home runs Saturday in Milwaukee. Alvarez has hit all 10 of his home runs since April 18, leading the National League in that time span. Still, Alvarez possessed a .199 average entering Sunday, and Hurdle has not seen enough consistency to move Alvarez higher in the lineup. Alvarez batted sixth Sunday against Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo. The Pirates hope Alvarez eventually asserts himself as a cleanup hitter. “Pedro will let us know when he's ready to hit in the middle. He hasn't let us know that yet. I've tried that twice, and I've had to back away,” Hurdle said. “I (saw consistency) on the road. Then I didn't at home. Then I did against Houston, then the Cubs series not so much. (Saturday) the swing looked like it was in a good place.”
• Alvarez has five “no doubt” home runs according to hittrackeronline.com, second most in the majors and tied with Robinson Cano, Justin Upton, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Trumbo and Alex Rios. Four of Alvarez's home runs have traveled at least 433 feet.
— Travis Sawchik
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.
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle, Huntington on same page
- Monday’s scouting report: Pirates at Giants
- Alvarez held out of starting lineup for 3rd straight game
- Thinking outside box slows pace of MLB games
- For Pirates’ Taillon, ‘the progress is neat to follow’
- Statistically speaking: Rockies’ bullpen suffering meltdowns
- Biertempfel: Locke looks toward postseason run