Gerrit Cole “very likely” to make MLB debut Tuesday

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Pirates stud prospect Gerrit Cole, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA, is “very likely” to make his big-league debut Tuesday versus the Giants, according to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Cole came into the season ranked as a top-10 prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com, and the 22-year-old right-hander has started 12 games at Triple-A with a 2.91 ERA and 47/28 K/BB ratio in 68 innings.

Averaging just 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings while walking 3.7 batters per nine innings doesn’t exactly scream for a promotion to the majors and Cole has yet to record more than five strikeouts in a start this season. On the other hand he’s held opponents to a measly .190 batting average and has tossed seven shutout innings in back-to-back starts. And the Pirates need a starter to fill in for the injured Wandy Rodriguez.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.