With the Pirates poised to reach the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, Pittsburgh fans can expect to see the team’s star rookie in the postseason rotation.
After the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 7-5 victory Wednesday afternoon, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told FOX Sports that Cole is not expected to be shut down because of an innings limit and should be available to start for the duration of any postseason run.
“We’ve been asked before, ‘Is he an option out of the bullpen?’ ” Huntington said. “If we (have) four starters who are better, then, sure, he can be an option out of the bullpen. But it wouldn’t be a move to the bullpen because of pitches.
“Every one of our pitchers has a hard pitch count. But based on where he is right now and where we project him going forward, he should be available to us through the World Series as a starting pitcher.”
Huntington didn’t specify which pitchers would be in the Pirates’ postseason rotation. (They have yet to clinch a playoff spot.) But it’s becoming apparent that Cole is one of the team’s top four starting pitchers — and perhaps the No. 3 option, after veterans Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett.
Source: Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports