Injured Pirates ace happy to see Taillon notch his first MLB win Tuesday
By Joshua Needelman
NEW YORK -- Gerrit Cole, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with a right triceps muscle strain, won't throw for a while.
The right-handed ace said he isn't dealing with pain, but rather a different "feel" after leaving in the third inning of Friday's 9-3 loss to the Cardinals. Cole had put together a 5-4 record with a 2.77 ERA prior to the setback.
"There are a lot worse injuries out there you could deal with," Cole said. "We should be in play for the majority of the season. I'm just looking forward at this point to getting back out there, and getting back to competing and helping our team win."
Manager Clint Hurdle said putting Cole on the DL was the best course of action, as it would allow the pitcher to refresh and "back it off."
"Why jeopardize anything else?" Hurdle said. "Give him some time where he can take advantage of the time down, and then we can recreate the throwing program as we've done with him in the past and look forward to an efficient return."
While Cole expressed disappointment with the injury, he gushed over his replacement, Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' No. 4 prospect. In his second career start Tuesday night, Taillon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and earned his first win with eight scoreless innings.
"Having gone through my own set of challenges, understanding the hype that you have and the pressure you have to succeed being such a high pick and the pressure of being sandwiched in between Bryce Harper and Manny Machado," Cole said of Taillon. "It doesn't get more pressure-filled, pressure-packed than that. To go through what he's gone through, I don't know if I would have come out as successfully as he did."
After the game, Cole said the team brought Taillon into the team shower and doused him with "cold beverages."
Hurdle confirmed Taillon will make his next scheduled start, a matchup against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday Night Baseball.
"With what he's been through, the challenges, the perseverance, with everything else, this is kind of all just the upside and the good side. He gets to just go play ball now," Hurdle said. "Where it is, and what time it is, and who it's against is all just a part of the package of the Major League level."
Pirates head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk provided several injury updates on Pittsburgh's battered roster.
• Catcher Francisco Cervelli may rejoin the team on Sunday in Chicago after surgery for a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Tomczyk said the key for Cervelli is ensuring his soft tissue heals. From there, the Pirates can organize an exercise and reconditioning program.
• Ryan Vogelsong's vision continues to improve after being hit in the face by a pitch May 23. His vision read as 20/20 and he is back to throwing. He has been cleared to exert himself per his "maximal heart rate."
• Catcher Elias Diaz, the Pirates' No. 8 prospect, has progressed to throwing 120 feet on flat ground and has been hitting on the field as he recovers from right elbow surgery. Tomczyk said the Pirates plan to have Diaz catch a simulated game in the coming days in Florida, without throwing.
• Shortstop Kevin Newman, the Pirates' 2015 first-round Draft choice and No. 11 prospect, has returned to playing for Class A Advanced Bradenton following an orbital fracture.
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.