Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole will make major league debut Tuesday

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What was reported yesterday is now official. The Pirates announced this afternoon that top prospect right-hander Gerrit Cole will make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Giants in Pittsburgh.

Selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Cole owns a 2.84 ERA over 38 starts in the minors. This includes a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts this season with Triple-A Indianapolis.

Cole has surprisingly only averaged 6.2 K/9 this season, but there’s no doubt that he has the building blocks of a frontline starting pitcher. The 22-year-old is capable of hitting 100 mph with his fastball and throws a hard biting slider. Exciting times for the Pirates, who entered play today at 36-25 on the year.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.