INDIANAPOLIS — Former No. 1 overall draft pick (2011) and current Pirates ace RHP Gerrit Cole is scheduled to start for the Indianapolis Indians against the Toledo Mud Hens at 7:05 p.m. this Tuesday, Aug. 5 as part of his major league rehabilitation assignment. Cole won his first rehab start with the Tribe on July 28 in Rochester, blanking the Red Wings over five frames to extend his current scoreless streak to 24 innings.
“The big thing that stood out to me tonight was the life on his fastball,” pitching coach Tom Filer said after Cole’s first rehab start. “He had some really good pop to it, a little hop. At times, he was really able to locate it well.”
The 23-year-old phenom’s rise through professional baseball has featured praise from Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the entire Pirates organization (2012-13), as well as ranking as high as the No. 7 overall farmhand in all of the minor leagues (2013). In addition, Cole’s pitching arsenal of a 100+ MPH heater and devastating breaking ball has also been touted by the same publication as the “Best Fastball” and “Best Slider” in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization prior to both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Since making his highly-anticipated major league debut on June 11, 2013, Cole has gone 17-11 in 33 major league starts with Pittsburgh during the 2013 and 2014 regular seasons. He was named the National League’s Rookie of the Month for his incredible run of 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA (6 ER/32.0 IP) and 39 strikeouts over five starts in September of last year, and later captained a crucial win for the Pirates in Game 2 of the NLDS against division rival St. Louis Cardinals.
After 14 starts in 2014, Cole was placed on the disabled list with right lat soreness on July 9 (retro to July 5). The Tribe’s 2013 first-half ace went 5-3 with an impressive 2.91 ERA (22 ER/68.0 IP) and 47 strikeouts in 12 Triple-A starts last season, and including scoreless efforts against Buffalo (5.0 IP), Columbus (7.0 IP) and Durham (7.0 IP), will make his next start boasting a 24-inning scoreless streak.