Pirates adjust rotation after placing Gerrit Cole on 15-day disabled list

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Pirates starter Gerrit Cole has been dealing with shoulder fatigue and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 4, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. As a result, the Pirates have moved Charlie Morton’s start back a day. Rather than starting this afternoon, Morton will start in Cole’s place on Monday, reports Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates have called up Jeff Locke from Triple-A Indianapolis to make today’s start.

As Sawchik pointed out, Cole’s velocity declined in the last inning of his last start against the Padres. Brooks Baseball confirms, showing that Cole sat 95-98 MPH in the first inning but was 91-95 in the sixth inning.

Cole, 23, has pitched well for the Pirates in his sophomore season. The right-hander has a 3.64 ERA with a 69/25 K/BB ratio in 76 2/3 innings.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.