Reporting Andrew Fillipponi
PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – With the news that former Pirates No. 1 overall pick from 2011 Gerrit Cole will make his major league debut tomorrow, Andrew Fillipponi spoke with someone who has worked with the pitcher on a daily basis for the past several months.
Indianapolis Indians pitching coach Tom Filer puts Cole in the same class as guys he has seen or worked with like Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. If Cole isn’t ready, he is very close. He has made great strides even very recently.
Cole has all the tools, now he is working on timing to create angles which allows for easy outs and keeps his pitch counts lower. Cole’s 94-99 MPH fastball can change velocity and he uses his two-seamer very effectively.
When asked about Cole’s state of mind, Filer remembers back to his own major league debut. He was very nervous but nothing compares to the experience.
“Maybe in his own mind he (Cole) thought he was ready (for the big leagues),” he said.
But there have been some important aspects of the game that the minor league coaches have been working with him to square away. Cole has also made great progress to controlling his emotions. Filer would not recommend putting Cole in a bullpen situation at this point.