Pirates notebook: Cole on track for return to starting rotation
WASHINGTON — Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole is expected to come off the disabled list this week, but management has not yet decided whose spot he will take in the rotation.
Cole has been out since July 5 because of right lat soreness. He tossed seven scoreless innings Friday in his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis. Cole threw 92 pitches, allowed five hits and one walk. He struck out three.
“He's passed all the tests,” manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday. “We have every anticipation we'll activate him when we determine when his next time to pitch up here will be.”
If he stays on a normal routine, Cole's next turn to pitch would be Wednesday. That's also when right-hander Charlie Morton is scheduled to start.
Morton has scuffled since early July, so he could skip that start Wednesday and work on the side to try to get back on track.
If Morton stays put, Cole could throw and extra bullpen session and start Friday's series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee. In that case, left-hander Jeff Locke would be sent to Indianapolis until rosters expand Sept. 1.
Could the displaced starter work out of the Pirates' bullpen?
“It all depends on who that guy is,” Hurdle said. “The guys we're talking about, I don't believe any of them have pitched in the bullpen with any regularity. That doesn't mean that can't happen. We've still got a couple of conversations ongoing.”
McCutchen, Mercer make progress
Andrew McCutchen (rib fracture) ramped up his workouts in the batting cage and on the basepaths.
“He's looking good,” Hurdle said. “He wants to add some velocity and spin — breaking balls, hard sliders — off the (pitching) machine. We're very optimistic.”
McCutchen is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but Hurdle still insists there is no timetable for when McCutchen will return.
Hurdle said Jordy Mercer (right forearm tightness) will not have to go on the DL. Mercer felt better Saturday, and doctors found no structural damage.
“We feel confident that he'll be able to return well within 15 days,” Hurdle said. “Until then, we'll try to limit his activity.”
Day off for Walker
After playing Friday night, Neil Walker was not in the starting lineup Saturday.
Walker said it was a pre-planned move to protect his cranky lower back.
“I feel the same as I did (Friday). We're just playing it safe,” Walker said. “We're keeping the workload low at the beginning.”
Hurdle said Walker will start the games Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Walker probably will be rested again Wednesday to piggy-back his time off with an off day Thursday.
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.
- Pirates notebook: Burnett continues to progress, amps up to 95-pitch simulated game
- Gameday: Pirates at Cardinals, September 5, 2015
- Young guns lead way into pivotal Pirates-Cardinals series
- Liriano struggles as Brewers complete sweep of Pirates
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen takes NL Player of the Month for 4th time
- Pirates, Marlins in talks to play 2016 game in Puerto Rico
- Locke struggles again early, Pirates lose again in Milwaukee
- Snider happy to return to new role with Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Left-side lineup intrigue continues
- Gameday: Pirates at Brewers, Sept. 3, 2015
- Cole struggles as Brewers continue Miller mastery over Pirates