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Monday, August 4, 2014

Pirates Injury Update: Neil Walker, Clint Barmes, Gerrit Cole

By on 8/04/2014 03:15:00 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates trio Neil Walker, Clint Barmes and Gerrit Cole are all struggling with injuries but it might not be too long until the team is able to get contributions from all three again. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports that Walker sat out of both games over the weekend with lower back tightness, while Barmes is aiming for a rehab assignment later this week and Cole came through a bullpen session with no problems.

Walker told Biertempfel that his back 'locked up' before Saturday's game and the team didn't want to take any chances on Sunday. The Pirates have an off day on Monday so they'll have plenty of time to see whether Walker's back improves enough to play on Tuesday. If it doesn't progress, they may have to consider a DL move in the midst of this tight pennant race.

Biertempfel quoted Barmes, who said he was 'really close' to a return and the thought is he'll be back within two weeks. Cole had been set to make a rehab start on Saturday but was scratched in favour of a bullpen, although the team haven't specified why. The Pirates have said they'll announce the next step - which presumably will be a rehab start this time - in the next day or two.  The highly touted right-hander has not matched the success of last year's rookie campaign, but still holds a respectable 3.78 ERA and 1.307 WHIP. Unfortunately, he has also only pitched 85 innings due to injury.

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