Pirates considering options for Friday's start

Hurdle says club will likely promote someone from Minor Leagues

Pirates considering options for Friday's start

PITTSBURGH -- Just when it appeared the Pirates' pitching plans were falling into place, two injuries have sent them back to the drawing board.

With Tyler Glasnow on the 15-day disabled list and Chad Kuhl unlikely to pitch this week due to right triceps discomfort, Pittsburgh has not yet announced a starter for Friday's series opener in Milwaukee.

Here's what manager Clint Hurdle did reveal on Tuesday: Gerrit Cole will start Wednesday, Jameson Taillon will start Saturday and Francisco Liriano on Sunday. Left-hander Jeff Locke will remain in the bullpen, at least through the weekend series at Miller Park.

What about Friday?

"We're just thinking," Hurdle said. "I would imagine [the Pirates will promote someone] internally."

It won't be Locke, and it won't be right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. After leaving his last rehab start due to a stiff neck, Vogelsong is scheduled to start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.

Vogelsong is pitching in place of left-hander Steven Brault. It's unclear how Indianapolis will shuffle its rotation to make room for Vogelsong, but it could make Brault an option to start for the Pirates on Friday in Milwaukee.

The 24-year-old lefty made his Major League debut in St. Louis on July 5, holding the Cardinals to two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out five over four innings.

Brault has pitched well in his last two starts for Indianapolis, allowing three hits while striking out 16 over 12 scoreless innings. He threw six hitless innings on July 16 against the Louisville Bats.

Around the horn
• Asked what prospect Josh Bell would have to do to displace John Jaso at first base, Hurdle said it would take a "very good report from our guys that are watching him every day at Triple-A."

Hurdle said Bell's defense is getting better, but he's not a better first baseman than Jaso right now. Bell made an immediate impact in the Majors with his bat just before the All-Star break, reaching safely in four plate appearances over four games and hitting a grand slam in his second big league at-bat.

• Catcher Chris Stewart (left knee) ran in the infield for the first time since being placed on the disabled list.

• Class A West Virginia placed third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, the Pirates' No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, on the seven-day disabled list on Monday, retroactive to Thursday, due to a back injury.

Quote of the day
Aroldis Chapman is back in the National League Central, having been traded from the Yankees to the Cubs on Monday. The former Reds closer is 1-2 with a 0.90 ERA in 40 appearances against the Pirates. Pittsburgh has scored one run off the flame-throwing lefty since 2013.

"He's not going to pitch, pretty much, unless they have the lead," Hurdle said, "so my focus is going to be on them not having the lead in the ninth."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.