Gerrit Cole Throws Live BP, Getting Close to Starting

BRADENTON, Fl. – Gerrit Cole was delayed at the start of Spring Training due to inflammation in his right ribs. Today, before the Pirates played the Phillies at McKechnie Field, he threw a live batting practice on the mound. Cole threw one inning of BP with the L-screen in front of him, and a simulated inning with no screen.

After the outing, Cole said that everything went well.

“It was good to get out there. I got after some pitches today,” Cole said.

Cole said that he was throwing all four pitches today, but couldn’t get the true feel for how sharp he was.

“The extra adrenalin and the different uniforms are the real test of how sharp you are,” Cole said. “I definitely threw a lot of strikes in the zone and in the BPs with all four [pitches].

Neal Huntington said that this was Cole’s fourth time off the mound, and where he goes from here depends on how comfortable he feels after the outing. However, the next step will most likely be getting him out in a game.

“Where we go from here, I don’t know when I’m scheduled to get into a game,” Cole said. “I know I have a bullpen coming up in two days. Got through today clean, and the next step is a bullpen, and in terms of five or six days after that, I’m not sure.”

Cole would be about a start or two behind the other starters in the rotation if he returns at the end of this week or early next week. If he progressed to two innings in his first start, then added an inning each outing, then he could get up to the five inning mark by the end of camp. But at this point, he’s not sure whether he’d be back by Opening Day.

“I hope so,” Cole said. “I’m not trying to jump the gun though.”

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