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Hinch splits up Cole, Verlander for 2nd half

Astros adjust rotation order to give opposing hitters different look
July 7, 2019

HOUSTON – Gerrit Cole will start the second game after the All-Star break on Friday and Justin Verlander will start on Sunday at Texas, splitting up the pair of All-Star right-handers in the Astros’ revamped rotation order. For Thursday, the first of four games at Texas to start the second

HOUSTON – Gerrit Cole will start the second game after the All-Star break on Friday and Justin Verlander will start on Sunday at Texas, splitting up the pair of All-Star right-handers in the Astros’ revamped rotation order.

For Thursday, the first of four games at Texas to start the second half of the season, Astros manager AJ Hinch has yet to decide on a starting pitcher. Left-hander Wade Miley will start Saturday between Cole and Verlander in the third game of the road series.

“I’ve set those three definite, and then we’ll make some considerations for Thursday and Monday (July 15 at the Angels),” Hinch said.

Hard throwers Verlander and Cole are similar in pitching styles. Hinch is experimenting in getting the opposition a different look of the Houston rotation.

“I’ve wondered about that for a while, though it’s really nice to go into a series and have those guys go back to back,” Hinch said. “They do have some similar attributes. They’re also different in a lot of ways.”

In setting the order, Hinch took in account that Verlander could pitch in the All-Star Game. Verlander last pitched Friday. Cole pitched Saturday in the Astros’ 4-0 win over the Angels, when he reached 100 mph on seven pitches, including 101.1 mph on his 110th and final pitch of the night, the fastest pitch by any starter this season.

“I’m anticipating JV pitching in the game on Tuesday, and that will put him further back of that weekend, and I don’t think Cole is going to pitch [in the All-Star Game] so he can go a little earlier,” Hinch said. “And where we put Miley is, I’ve flirted with the idea of him starting on Thursday and then we want to give him a little bit of a break. Putting him between Cole and Verlander is probably the most drastic difference that I can go.”

Hinch isn’t sure how long he will ride splitting Verlander and Cole in the rotation.

“I don’t know if it stays like that the whole time, Hinch said. “But we’re going to take a look at it and see if the high fastball that Verlander throws, followed by someone who doesn’t elevate a ton, followed by somebody who can do everything, to see if that is what we like.”