Reporting Troy Clardy
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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that pitcher Gerrit Cole will make his Major League debut Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants. The 2011 first-round pick has a 5-3 record for the Indianapolis Indians, and Indians announcer Will Flemming said that the timing couldn’t be better.
“It’s really the ideal time for Cole to make his debut in that he’s now coming off three straight starts where he’s really kind of showcased everything that’s made him the number one pick,” Flemming told Troy Clardy Sunday. “The beginning of the season, Gerrit struggled with a couple of things, namely pitch count and fastball command.”
Flemming said that Cole has started to pitch to early contact, and has pitched seven shutout innings in each of his last two starts.
Cole’s best pitch, like when he was drafted, is his fastball.
“It is a plus-plus pitch in scouting parlance. He can do so many different things with it,” Flemming said. “Gerrit’s two-seam fastball is 92-94 miles per hour, and his four-seam fastball routinely is 95, 96, and when he really needs it, can get 98, 99.”
Flemming added that the question will be whether Cole can throw it for strikes and not nibble with it, and that it’s part of the maturation process.
Flemming said fans will want to look for how Cole handles adversity.
“I’m sure that the adrenaline will be pumping, the bright lights and all the pressure and expectations, but I have every expectation that he will handle that moment,” Flemming said.