Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Biggest Loss Would Be an Injured Cole

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Biggest Loss Would Be an Injured Cole

Article excerpt

You know it's a rotten day for your baseball team when the highlight is making five errors and getting blown out by the club you are chasing in your division. The really bad news for the Pirates didn't come Saturday night until after their 9-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. Manager Clint Hurdle said staff ace Gerrit Cole is a likely candidate for the disabled list because of "shoulder fatigue." Cole wasn't in the mood to discuss it, quickly leaving the clubhouse, uttering, "Not tonight," as he went. No further details were offered about the severity of the problem.

"I think fatigue is the proper word," Hurdle said when asked if he believes Cole is in serious trouble. "We really feel it's fatigue at this point in time."

The ambiguity leaves the rest of us to do what we do best, which is to speculate.

This is not good for the Pirates.

There could be more troubling news. Hurdle also announced that Jeff Locke will be summoned from Class AAA Indianapolis to start the game today against the Brewers in place of Charlie Morton, who will be pushed back at least until Monday against the Chicago Cubs. "That's our intention," Hurdle said, making it clear the plan is subject to change.

That's because it is believed Morton also has some sort of ailment, although not necessarily arm-related. The guess here is the Pirates will wait until Monday to see how Morton is feeling before giving him the ball against the Cubs. Indianapolis right-hander Vance Worley is a candidate to replace Morton, if necessary.

You might guess all of this is taboo around Pirates headquarters. No one is saying much of anything about anything. It's like the Stanley Cup playoffs have broken out at 115 Federal Street.

The smart move for the Pirates is to put Cole on the disabled list. He is a huge part of their future. They have millions invested in him. Knowing Cole's mentality as a fierce competitor, he almost certainly will argue against the disabled list. His shoulder didn't look fatigued in his most recent start Tuesday night in San Diego. He was throwing 95 or 96 mph and had a one-hitter through five innings against the Padres before giving up three hits and a run in the sixth and leaving after throwing 100 pitches. But it would be silly to take the slightest risk with Cole and have what could be a minor injury turn into a rotator cuff tear. …

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