Pirates' Cole struggles in rehab start

Gerrit Cole delivers for Triple-A Indianapolis during a rehab start Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Indianapolis.
Gerrit Cole delivers for Triple-A Indianapolis during a rehab start Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Indianapolis.
Photo by Bill Gentry | Indianapolis Indians
| Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 10:48 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gerrit Cole took a step backward from a productivity standpoint in his second rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Indianapolis.

From a health standpoint, however, Cole left happy with his outing despite the Indians' 9-4 loss to Toledo.

“The shoulder and arm didn't recover well, so we worked on some things and tried to clean some things up,” said Cole, whose start was pushed back after he experienced soreness in his lat and shoulder following his previous rehab outing July 26.

Cole was scheduled to throw 100 pitches against Toledo, but he didn't make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed a double, home run and triple during a five-pitch sequence that led Indians manager Dean Treanor to remove him.

“Cole's main priority was to throw without any issues, and I think we got through that,” catcher Tony Sanchez said. “That's my big takeaway from his outing.”

After not allowing a run in his first rehab start, Cole was hit hard against Toledo, Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. Cole allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 13 innings, striking out three and walking one.

“You never want to put your team in a position like that, but I had a set of things I had to take care of out there,” Cole said. “Some of those things were just trying to get to the innings. I was trying to get some guys out, but, at the same time, not with the same aggressiveness. Definitely was not full-boar like last time because I think that's kind of what got me in trouble during the week.”

Cole's fastball consistently reached 95-96 mph in the first three innings and reached 97 mph once. His velocity dipped to 91-92 mph in the fourth inning, but that was intentional to work on preserving himself for the future.

“I don't have a body of work to back up those type of velocities, so I just wanted to come out with a good pitch count and feel good,” Cole said.

However, Cole also felt good after his first rehab outing.

“But the next day,” he said, “was brutal.”

Brian Peloza is a freelance writer.

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