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Pirates notebook: Pitching prospect Cole promoted to Triple-A

| Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, 5:52 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Gerrit Cole pitches in his Double-A debut with the Altoona Curve on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. (Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)

Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011, is on his way to Triple-A Indianapolis.

The right-hander started the year in High-A Bradenton, then went 3-6 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 starts with Double-A Altoona.

Cole pitched 59 innings, allowed 19 earned runs and two home runs, walked 23 and struck out 60.

Pedro Alvarez was unaware that his 469-foot home run Tuesday night was the longest ever hit by a Pirates player at PNC Park, but he thinks it's “kinda cool.” The Pirates third baseman also said he knew he hit the second of his two home runs Tuesday pretty well, but he wasn't sure it was gone. “I mean, this is one of the bigger-playing parks,” said Alvarez, whose .249 batting average is the highest it has been since May 5 (.253). “I think the wind was blowing out a little (Tuesday). “I've seen a lot of balls be hit well that for sure we thought were home runs that end up getting caught at the wall so, yeah, this park can be a little frustrating at home.”

• Second basemanNeil Walker was at PNC Park on Wednesday getting treatment on his lower back and said he was feeling much better than the past two days. Walker has seen multiple doctors and said nothing's out of place and there's no cause for alarm, but they do need to be sure the inflammation is gone before he plays again. “I think the biggest thing with the lower back is the torque and when you switch hit, too, there's no easy way to protect it because you're going both ways,” he said. “But talking to doctors they feel very encouraged that this won't be a long-term thing.”

• The Pirates will send Brandon Cumpton (RHP), Tyler Waldron (RHP), Matt Curry (INF), Gift Ngoepe (INF) and Adalberto Santos (OF) to the Arizona Fall League.

— Karen Price

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