If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you….
Damn you Cher. Damn you and your catchy songs. And damn you for killing Jack Nicholson in Witches of Eastwick. No one kills Jack. Jack is the man. Goes to Lakers games. Hits on Jennifer Lawrence during the Oscars. Lives in Hollywood. The man.
If you drive about an hour south of Hollywood through Los Angeles you get to Newport Beach.T hat just happens to be the home town of one Gerrit Cole. (Sexy Segue complete.) Cole is also the man. Drafted first in 2011, he will get his call to the show at some point this year. This guy can flat out pitch. In his first professional year, Cole climbed the complete ladder of the minor leagues by starting in high-A ball and ending in Indianapolis (AAA) for a cup of coffee. The guy sports a 98+ fastball that if it hits you it’ll leave a six-foot hole coming out. And he’s not afraid to be aggressive. (Be aggressive! B. E. Aggressive!) Just listen to what Gaby Sanchez said about the kid via Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
“Some guys who throw hard, they’re a little shy about going inside. This kid, he’ll get two strikes on you, then back you off, and now he’s got the whole plate to get you out. Tough, man. Tough.”
But when will we see him in black and yellow?
The Pirates made an interesting decision to line up Cole with the back of their rotation to start the season. If the Pirates hold off until June they have Cole an extra year until 2019. As it stands right now, the Scallywags are using Jeff (Don’t-tell-me-what-I-can’t-do!) Locke as their 5th starter. The problem with that is that Locke likes to get lit up. A lot. Like white girl wasted lit up. Currently he’s sporting a career ERA of 5.82 in two years (51 innings). That’s nothing to write home to mom about.
The Pirates have been patient with some of their current prospects. They allowed Andrew McCutchen to spend some time in Triple-A, as well as Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata. I would expect the same for Cole. He does need some seasoning. On Friday night, Cole pitched for Indianapolis and started out like a star prospect should. He only allowed one baserunner in the first three innings before losing his lunch in the 4th and leaving after that. But there’s no denying his talent. In 136 innings in the minors he has a 138:45 strikeout-to-walk ratio and had a 9.3 K/9. He also sported a 1.19 WHIP.
On draft day, I went with Dylan Bundy as the prospect to wait for, but when you hear the words “elbow issues” you cringe and hope it doesn’t come down to a meeting with Dr. Freeze. He seems to be okay, but turning it back to Cher, if I could turn back time, I would probably draft Cole. With the evidence I have now, he seems to be more of a safe bet to make it up sooner. So if you are wondering which one will be of more impact for this year, I would put Cole slightly ahead of Bundy.
Others that I would like to turn back time for…
Phil Coke – This guy. The effin guy. I made the mistake of picking him up in a league based on an “expert’s” opinion. Problem is that the opinion was horrible and Coke hasn’t been much better. 1 save, 1 blown save, and an outing in which he gave up 2 ER. All of that equals a 16.20 ERA and Detroit still searching for a closer. I fully expect Valverde to reclaim the job… soon.
Dan Straily – I’ve said all along that out of all the Young Guns of the A’s, I like A. J. Griffin the best, he seems to be the more complete package. But Straily isn’t too far behind. He was dominant when he pitched against the Astros, but then again who isn’t. They have problems against a Jugs machine. Danny-boy was sent down right after in favor of Bartolo Fat. Now is a chance to correct a wrong. Buy low. Wait. Enjoy.
Jason Kubel – Not that I’m upset about the trade in order to acquire him, I’m not. It’s just now I have to unload him before July. With Adam Eaton out, Kubel is getting everyday at bats and in the first week making the most of it with a longball already to go along with a .307 average. He likes the first half of seasons. It’s just that he seems to want to remain on vacation after the All-Star break.
I traded for him because I needed a 5th OF, that’s about his value. If you have him, remember to dump him when he gets hot, that’s usually around June. In that month, he hits a career .302 and also has hit 25% of his career homeruns in the month. Oh and bench him against lefties.
Previous story update
I like to hold myself accountable if I am wrong. I figure that it’s real easy to take credit when you’re right, so why shouldn’t you admit when you’re wrong? During the season, I will review some of my previous post because I don’t like to be the hit-it-and-quit-it guy and give updates on things I have covered whether right or wrong.
Since I have only posted about Jason Hammel before this, I will give a quick update. Hammel looked okay at best in his last start giving up 4 earned. So in two starts, he has surrendered 7 ER and has a 4.97 ERA. I have watched both of his games and he hasn’t looked particularly sharp in either outing; left his fastball high in game one, then just got into trouble in game two by walking 3. The second game was not entirely his fault as Adam Jones was in position to get Hammel out of a jam with an easy 2-out popup with bases loaded, then lost it in the sun allowing 2 runs to score. Nothing you can do about that. Hold tight on Hammel, but shorten that leash.