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.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.