Friday, June 28, 2013

Cole v Hellweg - Young Gun Shootout

If you like to see young guns at work, today's matchup is made for you. Pittsburgh sends their top prospect, Gerrit Cole (3-0, 3.44), out for his fourth start against the Brewers 6'9" Johnny Hellweg, who is making his MLB debut. The radar guns will be busy little toys; both guys can hit 100.

In Cole's three starts, he's put up a 1.04 WHIP, and lit up the radar gun with 100+ heat. Still, his big story line has been whether or not he'll get sent down when the Pirate staff returns to full strength. We say that's no story, at least not yet. There's plenty of time until that happens, and a lot of scenarios to be played out until then. Our question is when will he start tossing his killer off speed stuff that he tantalized us with a bit last outing?

Hellweg joined Milwaukee as a piece of the Zack Greinke deal, and got the call when Alfredo Figaro was placed on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain. He was 7-4/2.82 in 14 starts for AAA Nashville. But he's here because like Cole, he decided to start pitching to contact. Since he made the mental transition for whiff meister to pitcher, Hellweg has gone 5-0 over five starts with a 0.82 ERA. So it's a matchup of flamethrowers who have seen the light.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Russell Martin C, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Neil Walker 2B, Travis Snider RF, Jordy Mercer SS and Gerrit Cole P.

Brewer lineup: Norichika Aoki RF, Jean Segura SS, Carlos Gomez CF, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Jonathan Lucroy C, Juan Francisco 1B, Rickie Weeks 2B, Logan Schafer LF and Johnny Hellweg P.

  • In an obscure but promising stat, the Pirates are 8-0 this season after scheduled off-days.
  • An even more promising stat: Brew Crew starters rank 29th in ERA at 4.98.
  • Tony Sanchez was returned to Indy, and Josh Harrison got the call back to Pittsburgh.

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