Cole Tucker ‘stoked’ for chance to make debut with Pirates |

Cole Tucker ‘stoked’ for chance to make debut with Pirates

Joe Rutter
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker takes the field for his Major League debut against the Giants Saturday, April 20, 2019, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker takes the field for his Major League debut against the Giants Saturday, April 20, 2019, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker works the crowd along third base line before making his Major League debut against the Giants Saturday, April 20, 2019, at PNC Park.

Cole Tucker is an admittedly excitable person, and his emotions were on overdrive Saturday afternoon as he prepared to make his major-league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 22-year-old shortstop was running on little sleep when he arrived at PNC Park a few hours before the Pirates played the San Francisco Giants.

He pulled on uniform No. 3 and headed out to take ground balls with his teammates, taking time out to brush his teeth for the first time all day.

That tends to happen when you are informed in the early hours of the morning that you are getting your first major-league callup and have a few hours until you catch the first flight out for Pittsburgh.

“I’m just cheesing now,” Tucker said before batting practice. “I just took ground balls on a big-league field, and I’m in the lineup tonight against the San Francisco Giants. If I could run back and tell second-grade Cole Tucker what was happening now, he would freak out.”

Adult Cole Tucker was doing a fine job in his younger self’s absence. As he discussed getting the midnight phone call from Triple-A Indianapolis manager Brian Esposito, Tucker began jumping up and down to imitate how he bounced on his bed when he received the news.

“I’m so stoked,” he said. “I’m so thrilled to be here.”

The Pirates didn’t plan to have Tucker make his arrival in Pittsburgh this soon. He was in his first month at Triple-A after batting .259 in his first full season at Double-A Altoona in 2018.

Asked if he was ready for his debut, Tucker laughed.

“I do,” he said. “If I don’t, I got like three hours to figure it out.”

Tucker’s stay with the Pirates could be lengthy considering that starter Erik Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day injured list Saturday with a left clavicle fracture after being involved in a collision with center fielder Starling Marte on Friday night that forced both players out of the game.

Tucker batted .333 with three homers, five steals and seven RBI at Indianapolis.

“I feel like i’m ready to add value to this team, go out and compete and be good everyday shortstop and do whatever I’m asked of,” Tucker said. “Now that I’m here, I don’t have to try to reinvent myself or do anything out of the ordinary. I just need to go out and be Cole Tucker, and I think that’s a good big-league player.

“I can’t wait to go out and show that.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.