Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune, the Pirates have activated starter Gerrit Cole from the disabled list, hours before his scheduled start against the Mets on Saturday afternoon. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Pirates have optioned Brandon Cumpton back to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The 23-year-old Cole has been on the disabled list since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue. Prior to the injury, Cole posted a 3.64 ERA with a 69/25 K/BB ratio in 76 2/3 innings over 12 starts. He’ll oppose Jon Niese at PNC Park in his first start back.
Cumpton, 25, has been up and down between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh several times this season. He has a 4.61 ERA with a 32/12 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over nine major league starts.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: