CHICAGO — Welcome to the big leagues, Gerrit Cole.
The Pirates on Saturday officially named Cole their starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park. He'll face tough competition.
Cole, a former first-round pick, will make his big league debut against the defending World Series champs and Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. If he stays in the rotation, Cole likely will square off Sunday against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
“I like his makeup. I like his attitude,” said catcher Russell Martin, who worked with Cole in spring training. “In my opinion, he's going to be a good pitcher for a long time. This is going to be start No. 1 of hopefully a long and prosperous career.”
Manager Clint Hurdle declined to say whether this will be just a spot start for Cole or if he'll remain in the bigs.
“We'll give him the opportunity to pitch Tuesday night, and we'll see where it takes us,” Hurdle said.
The Pirates will make corresponding moves before Tuesday's game to put Cole on the 40-man and active rosters.
Prior to tabbing Cole as their starter, the Pirates expected a crowd of around 20,000 for Tuesday's game. After Cole was announced, there was a flurry of posts on Twitter from fans who said they were snapping up tickets.
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