With the Pirates’ playoff hopes all but crushed, the team is looking towards 2017. Gerrit Cole has been shut down for the season. How can you replace him?
I’m not going to repeat myself about the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2016 season. The expectations were high, but at this point in the season, they look to be moving forward. You can read about it in my Jung Ho Kang article. While he is excelling, there is the opposite side of the coin. The Pirates shut down pitcher Gerrit Cole.
There isn’t a significant injury that is keeping Cole away from the mound. He did miss some time in June and went 35 in between starts. He also went 18 days between starts from August 24 to his start on Sept. 12 with an elbow injury. But, his most recent start did not go the way many thought it would.
Cole lasted just two innings and allowed five runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three against the Philadelphia Phillies. When you allow that many runs in that short amount of time, you know something is wrong.
Management placed Cole on the 60-day disabled list, thus ending his season. Specifically, per a club announcement, “posterior inflammation” is the reason that Cole will end his year. He will look to rest up for the beginning of 2017.
Cole was owned in 86 percent of ESPN leagues, but that has dropped 10 percent over the last week. If you own Cole, why are you still holding onto him? Granted, some could be owners that gave up a while ago. But, if you do, here are some pitchers that could serve as a replacement.
Cole’s teammate Ivan Nova has looked good since joining Pittsburgh. He is 5-0 in his eight starts and allowed more than three runs just once. New York Mets Seth Lugo is on a four-game win streak and has three straight quality starts. I mentioned him earlier, but Jharel Cotton pitched two good starts in a row.
Take away his most recent start and Cole had a good 2016 season. He had a 3.55 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 7-9 record. It wasn’t as good as his 2015 season, but he pitched well enough to still be owned this long. While I don’t have my 2017 rankings typed out, I think I will have Cole in my top 30 next season.