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.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.