Gerrit Cole struggled Tuesday in his second minor-league rehab start at Triple-A, so the Pirates will have the 23-year-old right-hander make at least one more appearance in the minors before returning from a strained lat muscle.
Cole gave up five runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings, but manager Clint Hurdle spun things in a less negative light by saying that he was told to focus on repeating his delivery rather than getting batters out. Of course, it’d be more encouraging if Cole were able to do both at the same time.
That second rehab start had actually been pushed back, so clearly something isn’t quite right with Cole. If he struggles again in his third start, it might be time for Pirates fans to worry about what’s going on, exactly.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: