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Pirates notebook: Cole put on disabled list with sore back

| Monday, July 7, 2014, 7:21 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers to the plate during the second inning against the Mets on Saturday, June, 28, 2014, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers to the plate during the second inning against the Phillies on Friday, July 4, 2014, at PNC Park. Cole left the game with an injury.

ST. LOUIS — After Gerrit Cole's balky back still was sore during a bullpen session Monday, the Pirates chose to put their ailing right-hander on the 15-day disabled list.

“This risk is not worth the reward for this particular start,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

Righty Brandon Cumpton will be called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cumpton last pitched Friday, when he gave up four runs in six innings against Louisville. His start this week was pushed back a day because left-hander Francisco Liriano moved into Indy's rotation Monday to make a rehab start.

Friday, Cole left his start against the Philadelphia Phillies because of stiffness in his right latissimus dorsi. The broadest muscle in the back, the lat moves the arm and also helps with bending sideways and backward.

After throwing about 25 pitches Monday, Cole asked catcher Chris Stewart how it looked. Stewart frowned and shook his head.

“It's very frustrating,” Cole said. “The bullpen just didn't go well. I wasn't myself. If you can't be yourself in a bullpen, how can you do it when you pitch (in a game)? It's hard enough to get through the Cardinals' lineup when you're feeling good.”

Cole was on the DL from June 4 to June 28 because of what the Pirates said was shoulder fatigue. He did not make a minor league rehab start before being activated.

In his first outing since coming off the DL, Cole was rocked for five runs in four innings against the New York Mets. Friday, he threw 80 pitches in five innings against Philadelphia before his back tightened. He allowed one hit, walked one and got five strikeouts against the Phillies.

Strong past prompted claim

General manager Neal Huntington said Dean Anna's success at the plate in 2013 spurred the Pirates to claim him off waivers last week.

Last season, Anna batted .331 with 38 doubles, five triples and nine home runs in 132 games with Triple-A Tucson. He led the Pacific Coast League (which has several batter-friendly ballyards) in average, was second in doubles and tied for fourth in runs scored and total bases.

“I know I talk frequently about the Pacific Coast League numbers being inflated,” Huntington said. “But when you adjust his numbers, he's a pretty solid offensive player. He controls the strike zone, has gap power and can play a number of positions.”

Anna hit .192 this year with Triple-A Scranton in the International League. With Clint Barmes (groin) out at least four to six weeks, the Pirates could call up Anna down the stretch.

“We'll see if we can get him going again,” Huntington said. “Sometimes, waiver claims turn out to be nothing. Sometimes, they turn out to be a nice, quiet, solid addition to the organization.”

On the dotted line

According to's Jim Callis, the Pirates signed right-hander Gage Hinsz, their 11th-round draft pick. Hinsz, who had a scholarship offer from Oregon State, reportedly got a $580,000 bonus.

Minor matters

The Pirates traded outfielder Chris Dickerson to the Cleveland Indians for either a player to be named or cash. In 65 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, Dickerson hit .309 with an .886 OPS. He started in left field and batted ninth Monday when the Indians played the Yankees. ... Indy left-hander Adam Wilk was named International League Pitcher of the Week. Wilk went 2-0, including a complete game, with a 1.20 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings. ... Six Double-A Altoona players were named to the Eastern League All-Star team: shortstop Alen Hanson, catcher Elias Diaz, outfielder Willy Garcia, utilityman Drew Maggi and right-handers Adrian Sampson and Ryan Beckman. The game will be played July 16 in Altoona.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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