Just a few weeks ago there would have been a massive uproar among Pittsburgh Pirates’ fans when there was a possibility that the Bucs could send phenom Gerrit Cole back to the minor leagues.
Cole survived that potential deadline, but he shouldn’t survive this one.
He should be send back to Triple-A following Sunday’s first-half finally against the New York Mets.
As a matter of fact it’s a no-brainier to send the former No. 1 pick back to the minors as I would be shocked if he remains on the big club after Sunday.
Why you ask?
It certainly has nothing to do with his pitching. Cole’s 4-2 record and 3.68 ERA have been fine. He’s given the Pirates a chance to win in all six of his starts and you can’t ask much more than that from a kid who made his major league debut just a little over a month ago.
No the reason the Cole has to be sent down is due to upcoming inactivity.
The Pirates can’t let Cole sit around. He needs to get the ball every five days and he can’t do that on the big roster right now.
With the All-Star break and upcoming days off, the Pirates won’t need a fifth starter until July 23 against the Washington Nationals. That’s very risky to let Cole sit around for 10 days when he could make a start or two in Indianapolis to stay sharp.
Then there is the financial decision involved.
By sending Cole down for a couple of weeks, he almost certainly won’t gain Super Two status, which would save the Bucs millions down the road. He likely would have just missed the Super two cut anyways, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
It’s the smart decision for the Pirates to send Cole down and Pirates fans shouldn’t have a problem with it.
However if he’s not back up by the second week after the All-Star break, then the outrage can begin.