• Gerrit Cole (shoulder fatigue) went through a four-inning, 60-pitch simulated game on Wednesday -- facing Neil Walker and Jose Tabata -- and "was in a good place," according to Hurdle.
"There was some rust, yes, but the velocity showed up, the spin [breaking] pitches seemed to be in play and the changeup was good," Hurdle said. "Most important is, how does he feel [Thursday]?"
Cole becomes eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday, but there is no rush. The Bucs have set their pitching rotation for the upcoming weekend series against the Cubs in Chicago, and it does not include him: Charlie Morton, Vance Worley, Brandon Cumpton.
• Francisco Liriano (strained left oblique) said he is "feeling better" and still planned to play some flat-ground catch on Thursday. It would be his first throwing activity since going on the DL on June 11.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.