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.
Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.
ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:
Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”
Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.