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Pirates notebook: Cole remains on track for return to rotation

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By Rob Biertemfpfel
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

• Manager Clint Hurdle said Gerrit Cole felt fine Tuesday after throwing a simulated game Monday. Pitching coach Ray Searage has put together a throwing program for the final evaluation and Cole is on target to come off the disabled list this weekend. Hurdle said the reshuffled starting rotation likely will be revealed Wednesday.

• Third baseman Pedro Alvarez mashed a towering three-run homer on Monday night. On Tuesday, Alvarez was the designated hitter — but batted eighth in the order. “Pedro is down in the order, and I'm the guy who put him there,” Hurdle said. “It's not so much about the position. I think it speaks to the way you can best construct the lineup. The guys who swing and miss, you try to keep them separated. Our lineup can bite you in a lot of different ways; it's got speed and power.”

• High-A Bradenton outfielder Josh Bell was named to the United States squad for the All-Star Futures Game. A second-round pick in 2011, Bell is batting .335 with nine homers, five steals and a .904 on-base plus slugging percentage. The Futures Game will be played July 13 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

• The Pirates traded left-handed reliever Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers for cash. Schlereth had a 7.23 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP in 21 outings with Triple-A Indianapolis. Schlereth, 28, pitched for the Tigers from 2010-12.

— Rob Biertempfel

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