Pregame: Cole to AFL


PHOENIX — It’s not quite breaking news, but it is finally official: Gerrit Cole will play in the Arizona Fall League. GM Neal Huntington said the day Cole signed that the top overall draft pick likely would go to the AFL, which will pit him against some of the top prospects in the game. Today, the Pirates formally announced Cole is on Mesa’s roster.

“We always thought the best way for Gerrit to begin his development in our organization was to be challenged by the competition in Arizona,” Huntington said. “We felt like he was ready to handle it. We felt it would be a good step for him, a good entry into professional baseball, and get him ready for 2012.”

Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, the top picks in the past two years by the Washington Nationals, also went to the AFL after signing their contracts.

»»» Matt Pagnozzi is in the lineup today, making him the eighth catcher the Pirates have used this season. That’s the most since 1914, when they used nine.

Lineups for today’s game:

Pirates (69-86) – 1. Alex Presley cf, 2. Pedro Ciriaco ss, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Ryan Ludwick rf, 7. Brandon Wood 3b, 8. Matt Pagnozzi c, 9. Ross Ohlendorf rhp (1-2, 6.82)

Diamondbacks (89-66) – 1. Willie Bloomquist ss, 2. Aaron Hill 2b, 3. Justin Upton rf, 4. Miguel Montero c, 5. Chris Young cf, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 7. Ryan Roberts 3b, 8. Gerardo Parra lf, 9. Wade Miley lhp (3-2, 4.24)