Gerrit Cole Dealing With Rib Inflammation
The Pirates announced on Friday that No. 1 pitcher Gerrrit Cole is dealing with rib inflammation. Although this is not considered to be serious, any issues with Cole or No. 2 starter Francisco Liriano have to raise red flags.
Cole will only be able to throw off flat round for the time being. The injury was suffered during a training session last month.
The Pirates are not taking any chances with their ace and will not let him throw from an elevated mound until the injury is healed.
Cole stated to the media that he feels good and is not far behind the other pitchers.
The starting rotation is a major question mark after the first two pitchers so if anything were to happen to them, the Pirates could be in serious trouble, especially if it is long-term
Cole has been very consistent his first three seasons and has stayed away from injuries for the most part. In 2016, he has a chance to become one of the best right handed pitchers in baseball. He has developed a solid slider which produced excellent results in 2015 to go along with his high 90’s fastball.
Most likely, his 2.66 ERA and 1.091 WHIP could improve which would mean the Pirates would have a legitimate Cy Young candidate at the top of their rotation for the first time since Doug Drabek.
But Cole has to stay healthy for that to occur and for the Pirates to extend their post-season streak to four.