By Megan Filipowski/Indianapolis Indians
Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole is set to make the second start of his rehab assignment with the Indianapolis Indians tonight, Aug. 5, against the Toledo Mud Hens.
If his one rehab-start track record this year is any evidence of the impending show, Cole will leave both the opposition and Tribe fans in dismay with his deadly arsenal of four-seam fastball, sinker, changeup, slider and curveball.
Using the full repertoire, the former top overall draft pick set the stage for the Tribe’s combination shutout by blanking Rochester over five dominant innings with seven strikeouts on July 28.
“I know he really liked what he did tonight,” Indians pitching Tom Filer said after the game. “He wasn’t disappointed in anything that happened.”
Cole’s swing-and-miss “stuff” was downright backbreaking, as he kept the Red Wings off-balance with offspeed offerings his pitching coach described as “having lots of life .”
To nail it down to a number-sense, the 23-year-old power arm has averaged about 97 MPH on his fastball, 94 MPH on the sinker, 87 on slider, 86 MPH on changeup and 84 MPH on his curveball.
Indians catcher Tony Sanchez saw Cole in complete command from behind the plate, and made the starter work on spotting his pitches for his outs instead of relying on pure, overpowering speed.
“Once I saw how good he looked and how effortless everything was,” Sanchez began. “I was like, ‘Ok, I’m going to try to make it a little harder for him than normal.'”
Cole is scheduled to make tonight’s start against the Mud Hens at 7:05 p.m.