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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Prospect Highlights: Gerrit Cole Strikeout, Andrew Lambo Triple

Gerrit Cole threw six shutout innings on Sunday, retiring 18 of the 19 batters he faced in his third rehab start. He needed just 73 pitches to get through his outing, 49 went for strikes. Here, he picks up his third strikeout of the day. You’ll notice the pitch speeds are shown at the top corner of the screen.

Andrew Lambo went the other way on this two-run triple from Saturday night. He now has a .341/.407/.547 slash line through 47 games at Indianapolis. His .955 OPS is 22 points higher than what he put up in AAA last year during his breakout season. With the Indianapolis season ending on September 1st and a recent slide pushing them from first place down to 4.5 games back in the standings, Lambo should be with the Pirates no later than September 2nd, providing them with a strong lefty bat off the bench.

Catcher Elias Diaz smoked the ball the other way on this sacrifice fly from Saturday night. He has hit in 14 straight games, helping him to a .324/.370/.442 slash line through 89 games this year. Diaz is batting .436 during the streak, with eight extra-base hits.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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They really don’t need Cole to be rushed, he could pitch again at Indy. As far as young catchers are concerned, they usually need some major league time to develop, whether the Pirates want to wait to develop a catcher at the major league level is something we are going to have to wait for, but I think we are going to find out by ST next year.


” They don’t need Cole to be rushed ” ? Have you actually watched Morton’s last 4 starts ?


Are you suggesting Morton should be dropped from the rotation when Cole comes back?


Morton or Locke would be my prime candidates, though I am sure I will take a beating here for it. Morton has little command when he needs it, Locke pretty much the same problem with out all the ridiculous HPBs. Morton is going to get one of his own players hurt, much like Frieri did. Marte was just lucky yesterday.


Don’t want you to take beating, but I do disagree. I would say Volquez or Locke. Volquez has the worst xFip of any of the starters, and I think his stuff would play up in the pen the best. One thing to bear in mind with Morton’s last starts is that he has a .346 BABIP in that time, compared to .277 for the rest of the season; line drive rate (biggest variable in BABIP) has remained about the same. Being a ground ball pitcher, BABIP affects a lot of what you get out of him. He’s still sitting around 60% strikes, which certainly ain’t Greg Maddux but it ain’t Andy Oliver either.


I have looked at all of his sabre numbers also, and am convinced they don’t actually show what he really is. He consistently falls apart once anything goes wrong. Guys like Volquez will at least battle. You also MUST consider this : other players/teams will NOT sit back and take it when a guy like him continues to hit batters at the rate he and the rest of the Pirates staff are. That just a fact of MLB life, and gave considerable legitimacy to the Diamondback’s argument over the McCutchen Injury, right or wrong.


Back to Cole. If he is ok today,I would hope they put him right in Morton’s slot in the rotation, push him to the bull pen,and possibly DFA Gomez. I reaize that Pimental has a lot more upside going forward, but two pitchers performing as they are on your active roster is one too many, at this point particularly.


Gomez is a AAA pitcher at this point John. Which ever direction they go with him is really immaterial. You can not have he and Pimental on the roster at the same time, any more than you should have Martinez, Nix and Stewart in the lineup at the same time.


Diaz was also named The Best Defensive Catcher in the BBA ” Best Tools ” selections and is currently 2nd in the Captain’s Catcher’s Award contest sponsored by All Star. There are a lot of more well known MiLB catching prospects behind him,including : Austin Hedges, Blake Swihart, JT Realmuto, Tony Wolters, and…..a certain Reese McGuire !

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