In the minors Gerrit Cole’s strikeout rate never quite matched his excellent raw stuff, as the former No. 1 overall pick totaled a modest 114 strikeouts in 133 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
After being called up to the Pirates in June he continued to miss an underwhelming number of bats, managing just 29 strikeouts in his first 49 innings and failing to whiff more than five batters in any of his first eight starts.
Lately, however, Cole has started racking up strikeouts. Today he whiffed a dozen Padres in six innings, which gives Cole a total of 65 strikeouts in 63 innings since July 28. Overall this season he has a 3.23 ERA and 94/27 K/BB ratio in 111 innings while allowing just seven homers as a 22-year-old rookie, which is one of many reasons why the Pirates’ success is likely to continue long past this season.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.