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Big League Stew

Pirates announce Gerrit Cole — first overall pick in 2011 Draft — will make MLB debut on Tuesday

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Welcome to the future in Pittsburgh.

While the 2013 First-Year Player Draft winds down on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates have announced their No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 Draft, right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole, will make his major league debut on Tuesday night at PNC Park against the San Francisco Giants.

Impressively, Cole will relocate to Pittsburgh riding a 19-inning scoreless streak at Triple-A. He also comes in ranked as a top 10 prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com.

Still, despite those facts, the promotion is probably coming a little bit sooner than the Pirates had hoped or anticipated it would. And that's not to say Cole has disappointed in the minors. He's actually moved very quickly through the organization in two years and has pitched well this season having posted a 2.91 ERA through 12 starts and 68 innings at Triple-A, but his 47/28 K/BB ratio could be difficult to survive with at the big level.

A touch more seasoning in the minors is probably what the doctor would prescribe to ensure he's ready for the task, but the Pirates also find themselves in a bit of a bind with Wandy Rodriguez needing to be skipped next time through with forearm tightness and Jeanmar Gomez just now working his way back from his own forearm issues.

Baseball isn't a game based on convenience. Most of the time you're rolling with the punches and reacting to the latest challenge that goes along with 162 games. That's the situation the Pirates find themselves in now, but regardless of the when, how or why, any debut by a former No. 1 overall selection is a big deal and an exciting time for the franchise involved.

Now we'll all sit back and look forward to seeing what the 22-year-old has against the defending world champions.

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