Pirates notebook: Cole's stay could end with Burnett's return
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Rookie Gerrit Cole is in the Pirates' starting rotation, and Jeanmar Gomez is ready rejoin it. But there's a good chance neither right-hander will be there in another week or two.
Gomez (strained forearm) will come off the disabled list Wednesday and start against the Seattle Mariners. The Pirates are off Thursday, so Cole's next start will be pushed back to Friday at PNC Park against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Manager Clint Hurdle did not reveal any more about the rotation beyond that. But it is likely Gomez and Cole will depart the rotation when Wandy Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett are ready to return.
In a rehab start Sunday with Triple-A Indianapolis, Rodriguez (forearm tightness) threw 73 pitches in four innings, allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five. The lefty probably won't need another outing before coming off the DL.
“It's not necessary for him to get to 100 pitches (in the rehab stint) because he's already been there this season,” general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday on his weekly radio show.
Rodriguez's return would push Gomez back into long relief.
Burnett (strained right calf) is eligible to come off the DL on Monday but hasn't thrown off a mound yet. When Burnett is ready, the easiest move would be to send Cole back to Indy.
“There's a business component to it, as far as keeping our depth,” Huntington said. “Gerrit's probably got the best stuff of anybody in the rotation ... (and) he's made three impressive outings. But the challenge is, if we need another starter (due to injury) later, it may make sense to send Gerrit back so we have a sixth quality starter.”
The only pitchers in the rotation who still have minor league options are Cole and Jeff Locke.
Huntington stressed that the possibility of Cole gaining Super Two status — which would give him an extra year of salary arbitration, based on how much playing time he accrues — is not a factor in the decision.
Huntington also must decide what to do with righty James McDonald (shoulder discomfort) by Wednesday, when his rehab assignment expires. He would have to clear waivers in order to be sent to the minors. A trade also is a possibility.
Tony the Bat
Tony Sanchez hit a ground-rule double in his first career at-bat Sunday, rocking a 2-1 pitch from Angels right-hander Joe Blanton. The ball got stuck in the out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall.
The unusual circumstance probably cost Sanchez an RBI. Neil Walker was on first base and was hustling with two outs. Walker had to return to third base and was stranded when Michael McKenry flew out to end the inning.
“I walked up to the plate and my legs started shaking uncontrollably,” Sanchez said. “I asked (catcher Chris) Iannetta, ‘Dude, what do I do?' He said, ‘Just breathe,' so I stepped out of the box. Blanton threw me a ball I could handle.”
When he was drafted out of Boston College, Sanchez had a reputation as a solid defensive player with shortcomings at the plate.
“Not many people would've had him making his big league debut as the designated hitter,” Huntington said.
Still, Sanchez has hit well — .306 with nine homers and 35 RBI — this year at Indy.
“We called him up to swing the bat,” Hurdle said. “So I don't find it ironic at all that he's our DH.”
They're No. 1
When Sanchez was called up Friday, it gave the Pirates eight former first-round draft picks on their active roster.
Sanchez was the Pirates' top selection in 2009. The others are Jason Grilli (Giants, 1997), Walker (Pirates, 2004) Andrew McCutchen (Pirates, 2005), Bryan Morris (Dodgers, 2006), Travis Snider (Blue Jays, 2006), Pedro Alvarez (Pirates, 2008) and Cole (Pirates, 2011).
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 acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
- Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
- McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
- Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
- Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
- Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Ramirez thrown into spotlight upon joining Pirates
- Pirates notebook: No sign of improvement for RHP Sadler
- Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring