Insider Only Monday’s TIOPSDailyFive on Gerrit Cole, Pirates, Cavs, and the one draft that stings more and more for Penguins

mlb_u_coleg55_cr_300x200 TIOPS DAILY FIVE

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Gerrit Cole has evolved into a true No. 1 ace and he’s not even through his third full MLB season. Cole’s decision to forego signing with the New York Yankees ended up becoming a brilliant decision as outlined by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
After being the 28th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Cole decided going to UCLA would help make him a higher draft selection in 2011 and lead to less time in the minors.
It all played out perfectly. He ended up becoming the No. 1 overall pick and spent just one full season in the minors (2012.
Cole’s NL ranks entering tonight’s action:
• 1st in NL in Wins (9)
• 1st in NL in ERA (1.73)
• 4th in NL in SO (86)
• 5th in NL in IP (78.0)
• 5th in NL in W% (.818)

2. Who is Cole reminding some of?
Roger Clemens is one name making the rounds.

3. The Pirates have won 13 of 16 games and yet they’ve barely been able to put a dent into the Cardinals division lead which stands at 6.5 games. That team is just something else.

lebron4. After a Game 2 win, is Cleveland in the drivers seat to shock the world? Three reasons not to rule it out.
1. The Cavaliers have evolved into a great defensive basketball team
2. They are the superior rebounding team
3. LeBron James.
Those three keys have all led to the Cavs being able to dictate the style of game and have made it into a grind it out series. Advantage – Cleveland.

5. For a feature I’m posting in the next couple weeks that ranks the Penguins last 30 draft classes (1984-2014) with lots of feedback from scouts, one former Penguins scout had a funny line regarding the Penguins 2011 draft class, calling it the “draft from hell” and one that “gets your GM fired.” years later.
The scout noted that every team has misses and the Penguins had worse drafts during that time frame, but looking back the 2011 draft “stings” the most in players the Penguins passed up.
The Penguins badly mis-calculated on Joe Morrow when there was a lot of support in the room for Boone Jenner at the time, the scout noted, but Ray Shero’s message to his staff was to replenish the defensive system after trading Alex Goligoski in 2011 and Shero became obsessed that adding puck moving defenseman would lead to significant trade opportunities, except the NHL changed in years ahead with teams becoming obsessed for young centers.
The first round miss wasn’t the only decision that set the organization back. Scott Harrington should become a quality player but Nikita Kucherov would become selected four picks later by Tampa Bay. Think about him next to Evgeni Malkin right now.

The scout said the Penguins had a late first round grade on Kucherov but there were concerns when he would come over, a risk the Penguins didn’t want to take.
“We always favored North American kids,” the scout said.
The Penguins had no third round pick that year because at the 2010 draft floor, the Penguins traded their 2011 third rounder to Philadelphia for the negotiating rights to Dan Hamhuis who was set on going home and signing with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1. The Penguins never came close to signing Hamhuis.
In 2009 the Penguins traded their 2011 4th round pick to Edmonton for Mathieu Garon. Garon would post an .894 save percentage with the Penguins.
The Penguins may get two quality NHL players out of the 2011 draft in Scott Harrington and Scott Wilson and it wasn’t the worst draft class of Shero’s by any means but looking back, logic (taking forwards early) didn’t play out like it should have and the Penguins are now paying the consequences.
For Devils fans fretting about Shero drafting a defenseman with No. 6 overall pick when the Devils are starved for high end forwards, logic doesn’t always play out with Ray.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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