Pirates notebook: Cole's bullpen session goes well
While three of his teammates went to the All-Star Game and others returned to their respective homes during the break for a brief respite, Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole was at work in Pittsburgh.
Cole, who is rehabbing a lat strain, threw a successful bullpen session at PNC Park on Thursday and said the session went so well he threw extra pitches. Cole originally was scheduled to throw 25 pitches, but he made five extra throws.
A day after the throwing session, Cole (7-4, 3.78 ERA) reported no pain Friday and is ready for the next step. Cole has been on the disabled list twice since the beginning of June. He was sidelined with shoulder fatigue and now a strained lat, which is a muscle located in the mid to lower back.
“Ray (Searage) said it went very well. It was fastball-changeup,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “So after he settles down a day, we'll revisit and plan the next step.”
If you build a winning ballclub, fans will come to PNC Park.
The Pirates have enjoyed the third-greatest attendance gain in the majors from this point a year ago, according to an analysis by Forbes.com.
Through 49 home dates this year compared to last year, the Pirates' attendance is up 121,938, trailing only attendance surges by the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins.
The Pirates rank 17th in baseball in attendance, averaging 27,819 fans per game.
No platoon … yet
Hurdle said before the break that he was not considering turning third base into a platoon situation, despite Josh Harrison's emergence and Pedro Alvarez's career-long struggles against lefties. Harrison was not in the starting lineup Friday despite a .321 average against lefties this year. Alvarez started at third despite a .197 mark against lefties. Rockies left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa has pitched more effectively against left-handed batters this season. Alvarez is 3 for 9 in his career against De La Rosa.
“I'm giving Josh another night off. I'm not sure he's had one yet,” said Hurdle of Harrison's busy All-Star experience. “With four days off, you hate to sit either one of the lefties — (Gregory) Polanco or Alvarez — for a significant amount of time.”
Hurdle believes Alvarez made strides against left-handed pitching last season, but Alvarez's .575 OPS against left-handers in 2014 is below his career mark (.600).
Lefties on parade
Because of the right-handed-heavy National League Central, the Pirates have not seen much left-handed pitching this season. They entered Friday with a 43-40 record against right-handed starters and a 6-6 mark vs. left-handers.
Beginning Friday, the Pirates will play four straight games against left-handed starters: De La Rosa (Friday), Brett Anderson (Saturday), Tyler Matzek (Sunday) and the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu (Monday).
“It will give our guys a chance to see some consistent left-handed pitching, which we haven't seen in two years,” Hurdle said.
He said it
Hurdle on his All-Star Game experience as an assistant coach for the National League in Minnesota: “I felt so blessed to be there for the initial ovation for (Derek) Jeter and then the walk-off ovation for Jeter as well. As I'm going through my mind, (Frank) Robinson, (Al) Kaline, (George) Brett, (Cal) Ripken, (Chipper) Jones, Jeter — this might be the end of the back-of-the-bubble-gum, one-team guy.”
Hurdle has been standing, not sitting, in recent weeks during news conferences because of hip pain. ... When Polanco, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen hit 1-2-3 in the order, they're batting a combined .342 and the Pirates are 9-6.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after pitcher experienced elbow discomfort
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 8, Blue Jays 7
- Rossi: Fitting in will be Kang’s biggest hurdle
- Pirates starting pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Pirates notebook: Hart ‘down a few days’ after cutting foot
- Spring training crash course key for new Pirates catcher Cervelli
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- Lincoln tries to rejuvenate career in second stint with Pirates