Pittsburgh just lost some pitching depth, announcing that right-hander Brandon Cumpton underwent season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery.
Cumpton debuted with the Pirates in 2013 and threw 70 innings for them last season, posting a 4.89 ERA and 46/18 K/BB ratio split between the rotation and the bullpen as a 25-year-old.
He was competing for a long reliever gig this spring while serving as rotation insurance and will likely be out until early 2016.
Friday’s start was Gerrit Cole’s third outing since returning from a disabled list stint for shoulder fatigue, but he exited after five innings with a strained lat muscle and is now back on the shelf.
Cole described the current injury as “something completely different” than what put him on the DL last month, and it’s especially frustrating because he’d thrown five shutout innings before leaving the start.
Because of the All-Star break it’s possible that Cole will miss just one turn in the rotation, although the Pirates figure to be pretty cautious with their 23-year-old former No. 1 overall pick. Triple-A right-hander Brandon Cumpton will step into Cole’s rotation spot after posting a 4.61 ERA in nine starts for the Pirates earlier this season.
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.
Jose Tabata is back from the disabled list after missing the past six weeks with an oblique injury. To make room for him on the roster the Pirates demoted yesterday’s spot starter, Brandon Cumpton, to Triple-A.
Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte obviously aren’t going anywhere in the Pirates’ outfield, so any playing time Tabata receives will come at the expense of Garrett Jones and Travis Snider, who’ve essentially split the action in right field, or first baseman Gaby Sanchez.
Tabata hit just .179 during a nine-game rehab assignment at Triple-A.