The Pittsburgh Pirates made a few more roster moves this morning when they reassigned Gerrit Cole, Brooks Brown, Kris Johnson, Ali Solis and Kyle Waldrop to the minor leagues this morning and sent Phil Irwin to Indianapolis.
But Cole is the big move here.
No one expected Cole to begin the season in the majors as I illustrated before. It’s a combination of baseball reasons as Cole has thrown just six innings of Triple-A baseball. But mostly this is a financial decision that makes perfect sense. By not bring Cole up until mid-June or later, the Bucs get an extra year of the No. 1 overall pick.
Ask yourself the question of would you sacrifice a couple months of Cole’s rookie season to keep in in a Pirates uniform until 2019, when he is in his prime?
If you are smart then you would answer that question with a resounding YES!
But why it was a smart decision to send Cole to the minors, Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington continued the trend of treating Pirates’ fans like idiots by saying the following:
“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.”
There is nothing wrong with sending Cole down, but just come out and say that it makes more sense for the future to start him in the minors so they can control his rights for an additional year. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Instead, Huntington decides to insult the intelligence of all Pirates fans by insisting the decision had nothing to do with finances.
By doing so, once again he sounds foolish.
Look, no good Pirates’ fan expected Cole to make the Opening Day roster, because every Pirate fan understands the finances involved and the impact of bringing a future stud like Cole up too soon.
Huntington just needs to come out and say so. No one is going to kill him for being honest. After 20 consecutive losing seasons, we understand the process. We understand why the Bucs don’t bring their prospects up quickly.
But instead, Huntington continues to insult the intelligence of everyone by not being honest.
Had he not beaten around the bush, he would have much more respect among Pirates’ fans and those same fans wouldn’t be calling for his job year-to-year.
Instead it’s the same old dog and pony show when it comes to the Pirates general manager.
It won’t be long before Cole is in Pittsburgh. Through spring training so far, he looks like the only Pirates pitcher without major question marks. He’s looked good, pitching 10 innings with the big club this spring. Cole started two of the three games he appeared in, striking out seven, walking two, and allowing only eight hits.
The only question is whether Huntington will be around to see Cole’s debut in Pittsburgh or not.