A couple quick notes before tonight's game:
-P- The Pirates have officially activated Gerrit Cole, as expected. To clear space on their active roster, they've optioned Josh Bell to Indianapolis, meaning Gregory Polanco remains on the active roster, rather than the DL. It looks like Polanco won't play this weekend, however.
Not that we should put much weight in incredibly tiny sample sizes, but Bell heads back to the minors with a 1.000 OBP and a 2.500 slugging percentage in his first four big-league plate appearances.
-P- The Bucs and Yankees have discussed the possibility of New York dealing righty Nathan Eovaldi to Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel writes, noting that the Yankees could ask for someone like Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault or Trevor Williams in return.
You might recall that the Pirates reportedly had interest in Eovaldi two years ago. I was enthusiastic then about the idea of the Pirates acquiring him, and I still am, even though his Yankees tenure has been uneven. He has struggled this year mostly because his home-run rate his very high. Otherwise, his peripherals have been fine. He still throws very hard, and he's generated plenty of ground balls in New York. In that respect, he's a little like A.J. Burnett, who the Bucs acquired from the Yankees several years ago for pennies on the dollar. I haven't always thought some of the Pirates' recent pitcher acquisitions have been particularly good (see Niese, Jon), but if the Pirates see potential in Eovaldi, that makes a lot more sense to me. Eovaldi is under team control through 2017.
-P- Niese, by the way, has been moved to the bullpen, as you've probably already heard and as Biertempfel also notes.