D.J. Short

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Gerrit Cole slowed due to rib inflammation

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While we’re still a ways off from this being a legitimate concern, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports that Pirates ace Gerrit Cole will be at least temporarily behind schedule in the early part of camp as he deals with some inflammation in his right rib.

Cole said he suffered the injury during his “normal training” in mid-January. The Pirates are understandably taking it easy with him for now, but he’s scheduled to throw from the slope of the mound on Monday and the hope is that he’ll catch up with the rest of the pitchers pretty quickly after that.

Cole, 25, is coming off a dominant season where he posted a 2.60 ERA and 202/44 K/BB ratio over 208 innings. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young balloting behind Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.