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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pirates Injury Update: Andrew McCutchen, Jordy Mercer, Gerrit Cole

By on 8/17/2014 09:00:00 AM

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has begun batting practice in a cage and running the bases in his attempt to return from a fractured rib. In addition, shortstop Jordy Mercer will not need the disabled list after having his right forearm examined. Pitcher Gerrit Cole will return to the active roster later this week as he recovers from right lat soreness. Here are the latest updates from Rob Biertempfel of TRIB Live Sports.

Andrew McCutchen

Biertempfel reports that McCutchen "ramped up his workouts" by taking batting practice in the cages and running the bases at nearly full speed. McCutchen has hit only fastballs from a pitching machine so far, but he is ready to hit breaking balls and sliders. McCutchen is eligible to come off the disabled list on August 19, but manager Clint Hurdle has no set date to activate him.

Jordy Mercer
Shortstop Jordy Mercer had his right forearm examined, and doctors found no structural damage. Biertempfel said that Mercer started feeling better Saturday, which is a good sign that he will return to the lineup soon. The Pirates Injury Report has Mercer listed as day-to-day. He last played on August 15 as a pinch hitter. He has not started since August 14.

Gerrit Cole
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole could come off the disabled list on August 20, but's Tom Singer says that he could wait two more days to pitch the series opener at the Milwaukee Brewers. Cole went on the disabled list on July 5 because of a sore right lat. He made four Minor League rehab starts, totaling a 3-1 record, 2.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 22.1 innings. Biertempfel quoted Hurdle explaining that Cole is ready to return. Said Hurdle,
“He's passed all the tests. We have every anticipation we'll activate him when we determine when his next time to pitch up here will be.”
The dilemma is which player to remove from the active roster to make room for Cole. A starter could move to the bullpen or move down to Triple-A. "It all depends on who that guy will be," Hurdle said. Either way, someone will have to go.

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