• With Gerrit Cole coming off the disabled list Saturday, Brandon Cumpton could be a candidate to be sent down to Triple-A, though a strong start Friday could help his cause. Cumpton and Jeff Locke have options remaining. Vance Worley does not. Cumpton has become more of a fly-ball pitcher in 2014 and he has been fortunate to allow only one home run in 45 innings. His home run/fly-ball ratio of 2.6 percent will not last forever.
• Jacob deGrom fired 6 2⁄3 shutout innings against the Pirates on May 26 in New York and afterward Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said deGrom reminded him of another hard-throwing right-hander: the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija. DeGrom, a 26-year-old rookie, strikes out 7.9 batters per nine innings and relies heavily upon an above-average fastball. The Pirates generally fare well against fastball-dominant pitchers.
Russell Martin is only increasing his value this offseason as a free agent as he has the NL's second-highest on-base percentage (.451) in June.
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