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Cole to AAA, not happy about it

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Posted: 03/18/2013 7:08 AM

Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates reassigned top prospect Gerrit Cole to minor-league camp, a move that was expected whether the pitcher was ready to make his major league debut or not.

The right-hander pitched well in four outings this spring and could have earned consideration for a spot in the Pirates' rotation.

But had Cole started the season in the major leagues, he would earn a full season of service time and qualify for free agency in 2018, not 2019.

If the Pirates wait until June, they could also push back his arbitration years, a financially advantageous move for the ballclub.

"Everybody's going to speculate why he's being sent out, and they're wrong," general manager Neal Huntington said. "He's being sent out because, in our minds, he's not ready to compete and be successful at the major league level."

Huntington said Cole needs to work on consistency of his delivery, command of his pitches and control of his emotions.

He also needs to improve his secondary pitches, which compliment a dominant fastball.

"The track record of professional pitchers with less than 200 innings that have gotten in the big leagues is about a 50/50 hit rate," Huntington said. "And some of those guys are high picks like Gerrit."

Cole believes he is ready to pitch in the major leagues and was upset by the reassignment.

"I really worked hard here, and I put together a lot of good outings, especially if I didn't have my stuff," he said. "I tried to give them a lot of opportunities to not make this decision. But in the end, it still happened."

In three Grapefruit League outings, Cole went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. He struck out seven batters and allowed eight hits in 10 innings. He also pitched dominantly in an exhibition game against Team Spain, striking out six batters and allowing two hits in six innings.

Asked if he believed his service time played an issue in the team's decision, Cole hesitated, then deferred.

"Maybe somebody else has a better idea about that," he said.

In addition to Cole's move, the Pirates optioned right-handed pitcher Phil Irwin to Class AAA Indianapolis and reassigned four other players to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Brooks Brown and Kyle Waldrop, left-handed pitcher Kris Johnson and catcher Ali Solis.



http://www.post-gazette.com/st...ue-camp-679820/


Welcome to the Pirates

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Last edited 03/18/2013 7:13 AM by gr1111

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Posted: 03/18/2013 7:42 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


NH comments are typical GM speak. See you in June, Mr. Cole.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 7:45 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



bucaddict11 wrote: NH comments are typical GM speak. See you in June, Mr. Cole.

Be that as it may, he's still right.  Cole still does have things to iron out.  Indy is the best place for that, not Pittsburgh.
#fringeprospect
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Posted: 03/18/2013 7:51 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


I refuse to believe Cole is not one of the best 5 starters. He's being sent down due to the service clock and the benefits the Bucs get from it. I have no problem with it.

Would you really prefer Locke or McPherson over Cole?
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Posted: 03/18/2013 7:53 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


I understand the decision and won't criticize the Pirates as much as I would Major League Baseball. As a small market, it is simply the reality of the business.

 

In saying that, he is clearly one of the top 5 starters in this rotation and if decisions were made strictly based on performance, he would be in the rotation.


Again, I understand the decision, but it is simply another reason why overall Baseball sucks anymore. Not only are small market teams behind the 8 ball because of limited resources in actual payroll, now they also have to hold players who should be on the Major League Roster in the minor leagues until June to avoid extra cost and a year of control down the road. It is simply ridiculous.

And yeah 2 months it not an eternity, but when you have no wiggle room in wins and losses as a team on the cusp, that is alot of games to play with a lineup that is not your best.

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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:01 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
bucaddict11 wrote: NH comments are typical GM speak. See you in June, Mr. Cole.

Be that as it may, he's still right.  Cole still does have things to iron out.  Indy is the best place for that, not Pittsburgh.
Agree with this, we have discussed over and over again about how detrimental it is to rush prospects to the majors (Alvarez, Tabata, etc.).  Cole has one season of minor league experience and basically hasn't pitched above AA yet other than a few innings.  Lets see how he does for 8 or so starts in Indy and then reassess if he is ready for the Pirate's rotation.

And even at all of that, the monetary reasons to not bring him up until mid-June are every bit worthy enough of sending him down until then.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:04 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


First, you want Cole to be upset.  You want that kind of competitor.

However, the Pirates are definitely making the right decision.  It is very unlikley the Pirates will compete with the Reds and Cardinals this year.  It makes no sense to burn a year with Cole learning on the job probably with a 4.50 ERA.  Let him go to AAA.  He should dominate.  If he doesn't, and has a 4.00 ERA in June, I'd say see you next spring Gerrit. 

I think Kyle McPherson will be a better major league pitcher than Gerrit Cole in 2013.

Its also a great test to see what Cole is made of.  Will he go to AAA and pout like Alvarez and Tabata - or will he focus on proving the Pirates made the wrong decision?

Its also a side benefit that Boras is likely pissed.

Last edited 03/18/2013 8:06 AM by Sangue

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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:21 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
bucaddict11 wrote: NH comments are typical GM speak. See you in June, Mr. Cole.

Be that as it may, he's still right.  Cole still does have things to iron out.  Indy is the best place for that, not Pittsburgh.


You keep saying this, but you have no basis for it.  Did you see Cole pitch this spring, and if so what specifically needed work?

The fact that neither you nor anyone else has any issue with McPherson starting the year with the MLB club, but Cole "needs more work" says it all.  It is totally about the finances, not his development. 

McP doesn't have any more AAA experience than Cole does.  Why isn't he at AAA "ironing things out"?

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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:21 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



bucaddict11 wrote: I refuse to believe Cole is not one of the best 5 starters. He's being sent down due to the service clock and the benefits the Bucs get from it. I have no problem with it.

Would you really prefer Locke or McPherson over Cole?

Yes.  Cole is the future and potential super star ace.  I want him ready when he comes up... I don't want him still working.  Locke has 29  starts and over 170 innings in AAA, he has nothing left to prove there.  McPherson... eh.  I think he's best served in Indy as well, but since his ceiling isn't as high as Cole's, I'd rather risk him failing because of being rushed up.  If I were in charge, McPherson would have went with Cole.
#fringeprospect
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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:27 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
bucaddict11 wrote: I refuse to believe Cole is not one of the best 5 starters. He's being sent down due to the service clock and the benefits the Bucs get from it. I have no problem with it.

Would you really prefer Locke or McPherson over Cole?

Yes.  Cole is the future and potential super star ace.  I want him ready when he comes up... I don't want him still working.  Locke has 29  starts and over 170 innings in AAA, he has nothing left to prove there.  McPherson... eh.  I think he's best served in Indy as well, but since his ceiling isn't as high as Cole's, I'd rather risk him failing because of being rushed up.  If I were in charge, McPherson would have went with Cole.


At least you're consistent re: Cole and McP.

But it still doesn't explain management's decision.

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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:39 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



gr1111 wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
bucaddict11 wrote: I refuse to believe Cole is not one of the best 5 starters. He's being sent down due to the service clock and the benefits the Bucs get from it. I have no problem with it.

Would you really prefer Locke or McPherson over Cole?

Yes.  Cole is the future and potential super star ace.  I want him ready when he comes up... I don't want him still working.  Locke has 29  starts and over 170 innings in AAA, he has nothing left to prove there.  McPherson... eh.  I think he's best served in Indy as well, but since his ceiling isn't as high as Cole's, I'd rather risk him failing because of being rushed up.  If I were in charge, McPherson would have went with Cole.


At least you're consistent re: Cole and McP.

But it still doesn't explain management's decision.

They are very different cases.  McPherson is 25 years old with 6 years of minor league experience (102 starts, 600 innings), Cole is 22 with exactly ONE season of minor league experience.  Plus Cole is counted on for the future, he is crucial to the Pirates turning the corner for the franchise.  While McPherson would be a nice asset should he reach his ceiling as a solid number 3 starter, he isn't crucial to the team's future as we have many more guys "like him" in the upper minors.

Having said all that, I still think McPherson getting a few more starts in AAA would be beneficial, however, I would have no problem with him making the opening day rotation. 

This decision is financial as well as physical though, and McPherson has already made his MLB debut and started his clock.  We all know the financial ramifications of having Cole start the season with the Pirates, millions of dollars.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 8:57 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


I think maybe its time to give Cole "the treatment"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tju2VdrUy7s

Same cop just tased another guy for little reason.

http://www.dve.com/pages/randy...rticle=11076273

Last edited 03/18/2013 9:09 AM by Sangue

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Posted: 03/18/2013 9:34 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


It really is as simple as service time and arbitration years.

It would be foolish to bring him up right now when they can wait till end of April and gain the extra service year.  Cole had 1 start last year in AAA lets not throw him into the fire immediately.  Especially with a rather difficult start to the season for the Pirates schedule wise.

The question will be if he is dominating at AAA in April, will they bring him up end of April/beginning of May or will they make the financial decision to keep him in AAA to avoid the Super 2 status. 

I say get the extra service year, but allow him to be Super 2 and roll the dice Cole changes agents and signs a long term deal.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 10:07 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


Look at what happened when the Twins rished Downtown Anderson to the Majors.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 10:17 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


My take...

1.  Yes, it's about service time.  Agree or not, I think that's the issue that pushed this decision.
2.  They publicly said he still needed to work on a few things.  Could be to motivate him.  That's my impression at least.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 10:36 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


It's definitely about service time. But the two months in the minors will be good for him and the Bucs.




I spent most of my money on beer and football. The rest I just wasted.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 10:49 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


There's more to a prospect spending time in AAA than just performance. There's a big difference between visiting cities like Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Toledo(my hometown) versus Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. A 22 year old millionaire could find himself in bad situations in those bigger cities. I don't know how Cole is as a person, but there is value in letting him mature a couple months in AAA without the Major League travel and per diem. 

I think what gets lost on us message board types, is the fact that these players are people, susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us. Think back to when you were a 22 year old. Didn't you make questionable decisions at that age? Cole spending a little time with some Triple A types who made it to the show and lost that spot will probably be helpful for his long term development as a player and a person.
Blame it on "a certain someone"
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Posted: 03/18/2013 11:06 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 



fishmong wrote: There's more to a prospect spending time in AAA than just performance. There's a big difference between visiting cities like Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Toledo(my hometown) versus Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. A 22 year old millionaire could find himself in bad situations in those bigger cities. I don't know how Cole is as a person, but there is value in letting him mature a couple months in AAA without the Major League travel and per diem. 

I think what gets lost on us message board types, is the fact that these players are people, susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us. Think back to when you were a 22 year old. Didn't you make questionable decisions at that age? Cole spending a little time with some Triple A types who made it to the show and lost that spot will probably be helpful for his long term development as a player and a person.

Cole is a different kind of bird, but seems to have a solid head on his shoulders.

Besides, there are plenty of cleat chasers and dive bars in every town along the minor league highway.  If he's going to be stupid, he's going to be stupid.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 11:10 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


Cole wasn't exactly Steven Strasburg this spring.  He actually made it easy for the Pirates with a 3.60 ERA against teams that had lineups that were half minor leaguers.

Cole probably could have struck out 30 in 20 IP with 1-2 ER and still been sent down.

The Pirates did not give him $8 million dollars so he could learn at the big league level and put up an ERA north of Jeff Karstens in his rookie year.
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Posted: 03/18/2013 11:11 AM

Re: Cole to AAA, not happy about it 


I would have like Cole to start the season with the Pirates, but I understand why he did not. If he truly has things to work out then he needs to go to AAA and work on them. With that being said if he really needs to work on things then you need to give him at least 10-15 starts to figure it out. That means that unless there is a rash of injury's Cole should not be called up until after the All-Star break. And if that is the case why not just wait until September?
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