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Pirates notebook: Injury teaches Cole lesson

| Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7:39 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano talks with left fielder Starling Marte in the dugout during the first inning against the Mets Thursday, June, 26, 2014, at PNC Park.

Gerrit Cole is ready to take the mound Saturday for the first time since June 3, and the right-hander said the shoulder fatigue that took him out of the Pirates' rotation is something they'll probably have to monitor the rest of the season.

“I think that goes with any injury,” he said. “You try to assess why it happened and what got you better and how you can improve going forward. You tackle it like you'd tackle anything.”

Cole believes the fatigue happened gradually, and perhaps was something he could have addressed sooner had he not chalked it up to the feelings pitchers go through over the course of a year.

“You file that away and the next time something like that creeps up, you can maybe do something about it a little earlier,” he said.

Manager Clint Hurdle was behind closed doors Thursday afternoon with personnel, including general manager Neal Huntington and pitching coach Ray Searage, but would not reveal if any decisions have been made regarding who leaves the rotation when Cole returns.

“We're still working through all the conversations we need to have,” Hurdle said. “There's different things to look at.”

Entering Thursday, Pirates starters had combined to go 12-6 with a 3.29 ERA in June, second behind Milwaukee in winning percentage and fourth in ERA behind Washington (2.47), Los Angeles (2.97) and St. Louis (3.21).

Liriano rehab progressing

Francisco Liriano threw a 30-pitch bullpen session out of the windup that “went as well as we can hope,” Hurdle said.

The left-hander will throw from flat ground Friday and is scheduled to throw another bullpen, out of the stretch using all pitches Sunday.

Marte not in lineup

Starling Marte said his right middle finger was still sore but felt better than it did Wednesday, but Josh Harrison got the starting nod in left field for the series opener against the Mets.

Suiter signs

The Pirates signed 26th-round draft pick Jerrick Suiter, an outfielder who played every position except second base and shortstop at TCU. That brings their total signed to 31 players from the 2014 class, the most since signing 32 in 2008.

Fields for Kids

Pirates Charities announced the 15 youth baseball and softball organizations that will be recipients of the Fields for Kids matching grant program for spring 2014. The recipients in Allegheny County are the North Hills Athletic Association, the Wilkinsburg Baseball Association, the Kennedy Township Girls Softball League, the Penn Hills Girls Softball Association and the Dormont Athletics Booster Association.

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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