ShareThis Page
Sports

Gerrit Cole takes shot at Pirates during introduction with Astros

| Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, 4:21 p.m.
Houston Astros newly acquired pitcher Gerrit Cole, center, speaks at a press conference after being introduced at Minute Maid Park Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 in Houston. (Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Houston Astros newly acquired pitcher Gerrit Cole, center, speaks at a press conference after being introduced at Minute Maid Park Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 in Houston. (Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers during the second inning against the Giants Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers during the second inning against the Giants Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at PNC Park.

Gerrit Cole didn't show any nostalgia for the Pirates on Wednesday when he was introduced for the first time as a member of the Houston Astros .

The Pirates traded Cole, their 2017 opening day starter, to Houston on Saturday.

"I'm tremendously excited," Cole said. "How do you ask for anything more than to be coming to the (defending) world champions?"

Last season, Cole went 12-12 with a career-worst 4.26 ERA. He led the National League in starts (33) but also served up the second-most home runs (31) in the league.

"It boils down to command (and) executing pitches," Cole said. "There are a lot of contributing factors. I'm just going to trust what I do, continue to use the resources around me and soak up as much as I can from the veterans on this team. I'm looking forward to working with (catcher) Brian McCann."

Cole also said he's willing to take "a new approach" on the mound after working the past five years with Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage.

"I know there are some things the Astros do that are different," Cole said. "I'm looking forward to hearing those things, and hopefully, getting a lot better."

Cole is eager to take notes from Justin Verlander, a 13-year veteran who is one of the game's premier power-throwing right-handers.

"I love the mindset that he wants to learn," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's refreshing for me, and it makes me happy. I think there'll be some good competitive fire among our pitching staff."

The Astros tried to trade for Cole last July. When those talks stalled, they sent three of their top 11 prospects to the Detroit Tigers for Verlander.

The Pirates got four players in exchange for Cole. The Astros gave up big league reliever Michael Feliz, swingman Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran and minor league outfielder Jason Martin. Moran was rated Houston's eight-best prospect.

Cole was aware the Astros targeted him last summer and is eager to get going with his new club.

"Obviously, the organization values me very high, and that always feels good as a player," Cole said. "And it's refreshing to come to an environment where the team is willing to continually put resources into the club and continue to move forward and try to provide the best possible product for its fans."

Until he someday gets to face his old club on the field, that will have to serve as Cole's parting shot at the Pirates.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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.

click me