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.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: