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Velocity consistent for Cole in dazzling rehab start

| Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, 7:03 p.m.
Bill Gentry | Indianapolis Indians
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed no runs and one hit during a six-inning rehab start Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, for Triple-A Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gerrit Cole may have put an end to any concerns over his velocity during his third rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis.

Cole was nearly perfect against Rochester, allowing just one hit and striking out three in the Indians' 10-0 win on Sunday.

As for his velocity? His last pitch of the game was clocked at 95 miles per hour.

“I'm sure there was more in the tank,” Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor said. “That was a good sign.”

Cole's velocity was consistently in the 95-96 mph range during the first few innings of his rehab start on Tuesday, but dipped to 91-92 mph during the late innings. The dip in velocity was labeled as intentional and ordered by the organization after Cole said he felt “brutal” following his first rehab outing.

“He wasn't tied down to anything like that (on Sunday),” Treanor said. “What was good when he felt he needed some velocity, he was able to ramp it up a little bit and he had the OK to do that.”

Cole consistently reached 93-94 mph over the final three innings of Sunday's outing, throwing 73 pitches, 49 for strikes. He was scheduled to throw either 90 pitches or six innings, whichever came first.

“I feel good and everything went as planned,” Cole said. “The command was pretty good for the most part, and I mixed all four pitches to contact pretty well. Overall, it went well, but we still have some work ahead of us and the next step is (Monday) and seeing how I feel.”

Cole said he felt fine following Tuesday's rehab outing, which allowed him to have no restrictions with regards to his velocity on Sunday.

“I just went out there to get outs,” Cole said.

The start was treated as a normal outing, aside from the pitch/inning limit. Cole looked major league ready, Treanor said, but no decision will be made on his next step until the Pirates evaluate him Monday.

“I really liked his angles today, which is what I really look for because that means he's working over the ball,” Treanor said. “You saw more balls down in the zone today with a better angle. (That's) as opposed to maybe getting underneath the ball a little bit or getting a little ahead of himself and pushing the ball. We didn't see that at all.”

Cole allowed five runs in four innings Tuesday. On Sunday, Cole allowed just one base runner, a Daniel Ortiz single with two outs in the fifth inning.

“I saw typical Gerrit Cole,” Indianapolis catcher Tony Sanchez said. “That's the kind of stuff he brings every day.”

Indianapolis righthander Brandon Cumpton was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday and ordered to pitch an inning of relief on Sunday by the organization. He gave up two hits, but did not allow a run while working the ninth inning.

Brian Peloza is a freelance writer.

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