Updates from Saturday, June 28
The MLB Roster Moves Twitter feed has the latest on Cole's return:
The @Pirates reinstate RHP Gerrit Cole from 15-day DL; option RHP Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A Indianapolis.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) June 28, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 25
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the latest on Cole:
Updates from Thursday, June 19
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a synopsis of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle discussing Gerrit Cole's recovery:
Cole will throw another sim game Monday and could return to the rotation by June 28, Hurdle said.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) June 19, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 15
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review provides a synopsis of Gerrit Cole discussing his recovery:
Gerrit Cole said his 34-pitch bullpen went well this morning. Threw all his pitches and was pleased with execution. No discomfort— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 15, 2014
Updates from Saturday, June 14
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the latest on Cole:
The Pirates hope Cole will continue to throw this weekend. Hurdle said the next step in Cole's progression to returning from the disabled list is a side session scheduled for Sunday at Marlins Park. The Pirates hope Cole can return quickly when he is eligible to come off the disabled list June 19.
'I think he's going to throw a side Sunday,' Hurdle said. 'Sunday is going to be a big day for him.'
Cole threw a bullpen Thursday at PNC Park and also threw from flat ground earlier in the week.
'I think it's appropriate,” Hurdle said of Cole's throwing program. 'I think that we are taking the steps we need to take, when we need to take them, to get him back.'
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continued with an additional statement from Hurdle:
Gerrit Cole... could throw a simulated game Wednesday if all goes well, Hurdle said.
Cole is eligible Thursday to come off the DL, to which he was forced by shoulder fatigue.
'If everything stays the way it is, we could have him back a few days after that,' Hurdle said.
Updates from Friday, June 13
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the latest on Cole:
Gerrit Cole (shoulder fatigue) scheduled for a bullpen session Sunday, Hurdle said.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) June 13, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 8
The Pirates' Twitter feed reported bad news regarding pitcher Gerrit Cole on Sunday:
Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked about the move's impact:
The smart move for the Pirates is to put Cole on the disabled list. He is a huge part of their future. They have millions invested in him. Knowing Cole's mentality as a fierce competitor, he almost certainly will argue against the disabled list. ... But it would be silly to take the slightest risk with Cole and have what could be a minor injury turn into a rotator cuff tear. ...
... But even if Cole misses just two or three starts, it would be a big setback for the Pirates. He has been their best starter, by far. Take away his 6-3 record and 3.64 ERA, and the rest of the rotation has a 7-22 record and 4.70 ERA.
Travis Sawchick of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more info, courtesy of Pirates GM Neil Huntington:
Huntington said tests of Gerrit Cole's shoulder revealed only "fatigue" ... no structural damage. Welcomed news for Pirates— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 8, 2014
Huntington: "The tests we have done so far confirmed shoulder fatigue. Gerrit feels good with it. We feel good with it."— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 8, 2014
Huntington: "If everything goes as planned he’ll come right out after the DL stint." Cole eligible to come off DL on June 19— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 8, 2014
Gerrit Cole has had an impressive start to the 2014 season, but it seems like an injury will slow down the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher.
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that the starter is dealing with shoulder fatigue:
Gerrit Cole will miss next start with shoulder fatigue. Candidate for DL— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 7, 2014
Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out that Jeff Locke will start for the Pirates on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers:
Pirates plan to recall Jeff Locke to start Sunday, move Morton back a day. Reason: Cole suffering some shoulder "fatigue" per Hurdle.— Jenn Menendez (@JennMenendez) June 7, 2014
It is not yet known if Cole will be forced to make a trip to the disabled list, but it is clear the team is trying to be cautious. Manager Clint Hurdle explained the situation to the media, via Sawchik:
You want to make sure you are protecting a guy, so the conversation is being had. ... I think fatigue is the proper word. I think if you look at the season he had with us last year, the run he went on with us late, we really feel it's fatigue. ...
... There have been some things we've talked about, some red flags we've picked up. Consistency of pitches, volume of pitches, efficiency of pitches, there's a lot of different factors you look at.
If this turns out to be more of an issue than just missing one start, it would be extremely disappointing for Pittsburgh.
Cole has been quite impressive in his first full season in the majors, totaling a 6-3 record with a 3.64 ERA in 12 starts. This came after going 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 19 starts in 2013.
When healthy, the 23-year-old pitcher has been as consistent as they come in the majors this year, keeping opponents to three earned runs or fewer in all but two starts. As he continues to develop, he has the chance to be one of the best in the league at his position.
Although any injury is cause for concern, being cautious appears to be a much smarter move in order to avoid a potentially larger issue later in the year.
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