The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly one of the teams that have inquired about pitcher Gerrit Cole. Cole had a 4.26 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly one of the teams that have inquired with the Pittsburgh Pirates about starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Twitter.
Cole had a rough season last season with the Pirates, going 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and an 8.69 K/9 over 203.0 innings pitched.
This was by far the worst season he’s had in his young career with the Pirates, though there’s reason to believe his ERA was a little higher than it should have been, especially when you look at his 3.81 xFIP and 15.9% HR/FB rate, both of which signal that his ERA should lower a bit next season.
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Cole, 27, has had some significant success so far in his career. During his rookie season in 2013, he showed a lot of promise, going 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a 7.67 K/9.
During the 2015 season, he had the best year of his career so far, going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and an 8.74 K/9.
Since then, however, Cole has struggled a bit, pitching a 3.88 ERA in 2016 and his 4.26 ERA last season.
Cole throws four pitches: a fastball that he throws the vast majority of the time (60.1% last season) that averages about 96 MPH, a slider that averages about 88 MPH, a knuckle curveball that averages about 80 MPH, and a changeup that averages about 89 MPH. Here’s a look at the sharp bite he can get on his slider:
Cole has two years of arbitration left on his contract, meaning that the Baltimore Orioles would have him for longer than a one-year rental if they chose to trade for him. Now might be a decent time to negotiate for Cole too, given that he had the worst season of his career last year and his stock is likely at its lowest.
Still, Cole is just 27 and has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, so he likely won’t come particularly cheap. He would be an excellent upgrade to the Baltimore Orioles rotation, however, and would likely become the top starter of the staff, or at least, close to it.