Gerrit Cole to pitch opening day

BRADENTON, Fla.–-After last season’s setback, Gerrit Cole is honored to be the Pirate’s Opening Day starting pitcher when they play against the Red Sox on April 3 at Fenway Park.

Clint Hurdle, the Pirates’ manager, announced Cole’s, Jameson Taillon’s and Ivan Nova’s rotation for this upcoming season.

Hurdle’s announcement came early this year. Pitcher rotations weren’t announced last season until March 11.

Last season, Cole’s various injuries prevented him from having the ideal season he had hoped for.

In 2015, Cole was one of the National League’s greatest pitchers. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting, and in 2011 was the overall first pick.

However, Cole had a setback due to health problems in 2016. During spring training last year, Cole started late due to rib inflammation. During the regular season, Cole was on the disabled list three times because of a triceps strain and elbow inflammation.

Cole’s describes this season as a “new year” since his health has improved.

“He is in a very focused state of mind right now,” said Hurdle.

Jameson Taillon is slated to start the Pirates’ second game on April 5 in Boston. Ivan Nova will start the Pirates’ Home Opener against the Brave at PNC Park.

Tyler Grudi

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