Pirates make UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole first pick in the draft

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As expected, the Pirates made UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole the first overall selection in the 2011 draft.

Cole was selected 28th overall by the Yankees out of high school three years ago, but he opted to go to UCLA rather than sign. Armed with a high-90s fastball, he was widely regarded as the top upside pick in the draft. He doesn’t have great command and neither his slider nor changeup is an elite pitch at the moment, but with time, he could emerge as a true ace for the Pirates.

Cole isn’t as polished as UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer, who outpitched him by a wide margin this season. However, he is the best chance for the Pirates to hit a home run here. A modest disappointment as a junior, he went 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA and a 119/24 K/BB ratio for the Bruins. He struck out 376 in 322 1/3 innings in his three seasons overall.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.