Gerrit Cole gets roughed up in second rehab start

After a strong first rehab appearance and a pair of side bullpen sessions, Gerrit Cole and the Pirates had high expectations from his second start with Indianapolis on Tuesday. However, those were dashed fairly quickly.

Cole allowed ten hits and five earned runs in 4.1 innings on Tuesday.

“I think the positives were that I got to the pitch count and got the amount of outs that I needed to get,” Cole said. “Coming off what I went through after the last start, that was the goal.”

Cole said that he was bumped as the listed starter on Saturday after having some issues bouncing back as quickly as he wanted to with the shoulder. He said that this led them to put things on hold and take a little bit extra time.

“We worked on some things and tried to clean some things up,” Cole said. “It was not easy to take them into the game… It was definitely not full [effort] because we feel like that was what got me into trouble last time.”

After the bullpen sessions, Cole said that things felt better and put him in position to make the start.

Despite seeing his fastball between 95 and 97 MPH, Cole allowed three hits and a run in the first inning. He labored to 20 pitches, even though 15 crossed the plate for strikes.

The second inning was his strongest of the night. While he allowed a single, Cole picked up two of his three strikeouts during the frame. He got through the inning on just nine pitches.

While Cole got through the third and the fourth innings unscathed, his velocity on the fastball dropped to 91 to 92, and occasionally touched 93. In the third inning, Cole missed giving up a two run home run by inches, as Mike Hessman’s fly ball fell just to the left of the foul pole.

“I am just realizing that I don’t have a body of work to back up those types of velocities,” Cole said.

The drop in velocity did not catch up to Cole until the fifth, an inning in which he was only able to retire one hitter. After getting the first hitter of the inning to fly out, Cole allowed a double, a walk, another double and a three-run home run to four consecutive hitters. The home run was on an 80-mile per hour hanging curveball. After allowing a triple to the next hitter, Cole was removed from the game.

Cole threw 74 pitches in the outing. Of those pitches, 53 were strikes. Cole said that the next steps in the rehab process depends on how he feels in the upcoming days. He said that he felt “pretty brutal” the following days after the last outing.

Ryan Palencer

Author: Ryan Palencer

Ryan joined Pirates Prospects as the Indianapolis Triple-A writer in 2014. Prior to joining Pirates Prospects, Ryan covered high school, college and professional sports in the Indianapolis area. For more updates throughout the season, follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpalencer.

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  • Andrew

    Good stuff, but as a fan it is hard to find any positives in there.

    • csnumber23

      The only positive is he wasn’t pulled for injury.

  • tom from st pete florida

    won’t be seeing him for another 3 weeks, at the earliest.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, as the Pirates start to fall out of it, they just shut him down for the season.

    I blame NH for his stubborness at the deadline.

    • moose7195

      How is someone to blame for the team’s failures, when the team hasn’t even failed yet? How can you call a GM stubborn at the deadline, when he can still make trades? Last I checked, they’re still in contention. I figured that the team would’ve at least earned a week before the fanbase started saying the sky is falling. How about we give them a real chance to test their mettle, and not write them off after 9 innings.

    • Lukas Sutton

      So if Cutch was healthy and we were 2-3 games out you would blame NH for that 1 game drop? The only real difference between PIT now and PIT before the AZ series is we saw an injury to our best player. No amount of Marlon Byrd like acquisitions would have helped us now, and the price to get him was absurd.

  • ClayDog

    Not to be a nattering nabob of negativism, but… Given Cole’s ongoing challenges and the two bullpen losses in the past two games, do all you proponents of not giving up decent prospects to get much better ML pitching still stand your ground? The fact that Pirate starters crack the top 20 in only a couple NL individual stat categories (and none are top 15) and the bullpen has lost as many games as any other NL team underscores that the pitching is not nearly good enough to win the division, let alone a playoff series. If it were, for kicks, fans would be able name a consensus No. 1 starter, but I bet no pitcher would poll higher than 50%. How’s that for mediocrity? Hey, but just think, in a few years one of those prospects that we deparately clung onto the past two trading deadlines may come to the rescue. Just not this year.

    • csnumber23

      Where you been! Top prospects were offered to Tampa Bay for Price but they chose to do a garbage trade instead.

      • Bryan Graham

        Price wouldn’t be enough with as bad as the bullpen is. It’s impossible to pitch the same 2-3 guys every game. Maybe it’s not that easy to get good bullpen arms on the cheap after all.

    • moose7195

      Absolutely I stand by the decision to not part with top prospects, but not because of the struggles this year, but the potential struggles 2 years from now. Trying to buy a really expensive band-aid wont heal the wound caused by Cutch, Pedro, and Cole, especially when they’ll never keep any top player brought in this year. And they’ll almost certainly never play FA seriously enough to get the value of these prospects back. The prospects are currently the only real pipeline of talent to this MLB team, as long as that fact remains accurate then I don’t empty the well just to say we tried in 2014. I don’t care how average their SP is currently, they have enough good prospects that at least one or two have the odds to come up and carry a Pirates team. And when that day comes, you’ll probably forget about the Pirates minor hiccups in 2014. And they currently are minor. This is team is very much in the hunt as is. These last two games mean nothing

    • blainehwl

      Well, if you’re asking what I would have done with a crystal ball, I would have foreseen the Cutch injury and went for an OF’er and skipped the pitching.

      On the other hand, if you’re arguing 3-4 of the top prospects would have been with worth Price and Miller…no.

    • Lukas Sutton

      So we trade for David Price, Cutch gets injured and we still have major problems on offense (particularly against LHP). Unless you are saying we should have foreseen the injury and not only traded for Price, but also met the high demands for Byrd and gotten a bullpen arm. But just think, if we did all that we could still contend this year after giving up the good half of the farm and 1 ML piece. Oh to have a crystal ball

    • Greg7373

      The problem with the Pirate bullpen is we have made two trades which have turned out badly in the short term and may prove to be bad trades in the long term as well. Frieri for Grilli has not worked out – Grilli has been serviceable for the Angels (2.93 era) and Frieri has been a disaster for us (10.13 era) and, so far, has shown no signs of being “fixed” (actually he has pitched worse for us than he did for the Angels). Draft pick (Connor Joe) for Morris has not worked out so far in a year when we are trying to get in the playoffs. Not sure how well regarded Connor Joe is, but Morris has a 0.29 era for Miami. The irony last night was pretty thick – the guy we traded away, Morris, mowed us down in the 8th and our guy, Wilson, blew a lead as part of a five run inning for Miami. If we still had Morris, Wilson could be working out his problems in Indy right now.

  • Bryan Graham

    Doesn’t sound good at all to me. Not recovering as expected from his last start and only hitting low 90′s on his fb in only the third inning. Most times it seemed to me he would often gain velocity as the game went on. I hope I’m wrong, but it sounds like there is something wrong with his shoulder to me.

  • scrappy2499

    It’s hard to say but Cole may be in worse shape than is being told…He was supposed to get to 100 pitches tonight and only got to 75. He is known for his ability to get stronger as the games go on and his velo fell off the cliff (his standards) after the 3rd inning. Another question is why didn’t Hurdle put Stolmy in earlier. he pitched very well…For some reason the coaches will not play him. I also don’t know why Watson sat. It can’t be for a day off when he was off yesterday…Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

    • Lukas Sutton

      Watson went 3 in a row and something like 5 of the last 6. Hurdle said after the game they werent using Watson tonight and made that decision before the game. He has gotten a lot of work in the last week and a half.

      • bucsws2014

        I didn’t understand the lineup last night nor once again Hurdle mismanaging the bullpen. Why does he keep using Hughes to start innings? He’s the fireman. On this team, that’s an important role as the rest of the bullpen sucks. And if Hughes does create a mess, let him clean it up himself instead of adding gasoline to it by going to the rest of the mess that’s out there.

        This particular game may only be one game in 162, but given the circumstances, it should have provided a terrific boost to team morale after losing their star (and seeing Walker leave and learning Cole got hammered). The win was right there. And Hurdle’s decisions let this one get away.

        And Watson could’ve rested today AND tomorrow. You don’t let a lead get away.

        • leowalter

          I’m not defending Hurdle, but Hughes. The walk to Stanton was not good,pf course, but it wasn’t Hughes who booted an easy double play ball. In my opinion, that is where Hurdle showed no confidence in Hughes, opting to bring in a guy who he thinks is a strikeout pitcher that has done nothing in the last month at least to inspire any of my confidence in his ability to get out of that inning. So, you see what happened.

  • pilbobuggins

    I’m hoping this has something to do with what was said about cole learning to not go all out and how much trouble he had incorporating that into his game. Then again I may just be whistlin’past the graveyard.