Gerrit Cole Has Shoulder Fatigue, Pirates Reshuffling Rotation

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be reshuffling their rotation the next two days, as Gerrit Cole is dealing with what Clint Hurdle describes as “shoulder fatigue”. Nate Barnes had more details on Twitter:

Jeff Locke was skipped yesterday, so this is obviously something the team has been planning. Indianapolis also skipped Vance Worley today, although that was to put A.J. Morris in the rotation. Worley is expected to start tomorrow, according to Ryan Palencer.

It seems the Pirates are playing it safe with Cole right now. Shoulder injuries are the worst injuries for pitchers, so taking caution is the right move.

Locke hasn’t had the best numbers this year with Indianapolis, posting a 4.14 ERA in 50 innings, with a 37:22 K/BB ratio. In his last start, he gave up five runs on ten hits in five innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. The overall results were better in his three previous outings, although he walked 13 in 19 innings during that stretch.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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R Edwards

The thought of Locke being back in the rotation, is not one that exudes great confidence. I just hope Cole doesn’t miss more than 2-3 starts, or we may be serious trouble.

By the way, it is time to give Gabby Sanchez some of those at bats at 1B against right-handers. Davis has to be the worse cleanup hitter in baseball, in terms of power and run production.


The Pirates don’t have a 4 hitter, that is the problem.

R Edwards

True, but it makes no sense to keep putting Davis in that slot, when his only contributions are walks and occasional singles.

Monsoon Harvard

Ike Davis is sucking again. They should move Pedro Alvarez to first base once and for all and give third base to Josh Harrison.

R Edwards

Can Chris Dickerson play first base? Anyone has to be able to produce more in the cleanup spot, than Davis has been. If he doesn’t take a walk, he’s useless.


The rotation is pretty ugly w/ Cole in it. Without him….ouch.

I would love for the Pirates to go after a Price/Samardzija type who can be here next season as well. With the injury to Taillon, you gotta assume he’s out all of 2015 (at least out of contention for ML time). If he does make it back next summer, big bonus, but can’t bank on it. Also can’t bank on Kingham being a summer 2015 call-up. He’s looked good overall but I’m not sure he’ll be ready.

2015: Cole, Price/Samardzija, Morton, Pimentel, Cumpton/Locke/Worley would at least not be horrible. Especially if Polanco/Pedro/Marte are producing on offense.


how often do pitchers have shoulder fatigue and come right back after a couple weeks? It seems these days that anyone who goes on dl for shoulder or elbow is gone for awhile. Could be that I’m totally wrong about this but don’t remember too many pitchers going on dl and coming back quickly.

Last year Wandy never made it back for Bucs, Karstens was injured all year, Grilli missed a fair amount this year (maybe that is close to best case for Cole)

Jason Kaatz

they shutdown Heredia for around 2 months… hope its not that bad.


I live in So Cal, listening to the game on Tuesday the Padres’ color man mentioned that Col looked hurt during his last inning of work, the next morning i scan every Pirate site looking to comfirm that observation, confirm 5 days later………sad


Would rather Morton pitch tomorrow I a bigger game…with it being the Brewers and all. Locke is scary and really do not have confidence in him moving forward. Would definitely rather have Morton tomorrow and Locke Mon. IF Cole is out even a couple weeks, we are in serious trouble…just when we started to play better.


What’s the corresponding roster move? I would hate to see Hughes, who is pitching decently, sent down (unless Pimentel is ready to return). I have a feeling that Snyder will be DFA’d tomorrow for Locke and Polanco will arrive on Monday.


Who is ” Snyder ” ?


They have room on 40.

I think Cole gets 15 day DL, and someone ( Locke? Worley? gets called up)

Brian Bernard

Today’s game was a bummer, but 1 out of 2 aint bad. Lets take game 3 and all is well.

The Cole news is tough, but the team overall has been playing well for the most part. Don’t jump off Clemente bridge just yet.

It does seem though, right now at this time, with Marte struggling that it would hurt his confidence if Polanco was brought up – however that competition might be just what he needs to get his head right.

Beat the bad news down with Polanco coming up – It’s as good a time as any and it might get the good mojo flowing.

Chris Hale

The problem is we are sending Locke out to try and win this series tomorrow. Every game against the Brewers is huge now if we want to make a run at them. Our chances just decreased with Cole going down for who knows how long


Yeah, this is tough news if Cole is going to be out an extended amount of time. I don’t see anyone internally who can step in and do a adequate job of anchoring this staff. I know Worley is available but I don’t see him being consistent. Without a trade, this team has some tough sledding to go.

Lee Young

I wonder if Hammel would be cheap? He is having a good year.


Cheaper than that other Cub’s pitcher…not going to try and spell that name, and probably the cheapest option overall, and to think he was available last winter….

Chris Hale

I begged and pleaded for the Pirates to sign him in the off season. We’d probably be over 500 right now with him. I was talking earlier they needed another solid starter and that was before I learned of Cole. It is a must now.Let’s get Samardzija for the next season and a half

Chris Hale

This is a bitter,bitter pill to swallow/ Especially after a poor effort today. This team seems to show up asleep in day games this year. For a team that believes strongly in pitching and defense they look horrible. Hurdle has to get this team over these defensive lapses. We know how these shoulder problems linger on. If Cole goes on the DL you can kiss this season goodbye. This day was a nightmare


No worries.

NH had the genius idea to bypass Zach Wheeler, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Drew Storen, Shelby Miller and AAron Vrow so we could take Tony Sanchez and load up on “Overdraft pitchers”, just like this year. There are TONS of guys we drafted in that draft 5 years ago ready to step up and pitch in Cole’s place!

What, you mean that strategy DIDN’T work? Well, let’s try it again!



What is that word again ? Uhhhh. Hindsight ! What a genius it makes a person.


This would’ve been the point in time that Taillon would’ve been called up. Of course in a perfect world McPherson would’ve been ready as well instead of having had another injury. And Pimintel was picked up to be another Plan B – and still might be. And we’ve still got Locke, although I think he’s had his half season of fame and isn’t particularly useful.

The Pirates had been relatively fortunate in recent years in avoiding numerous pitcher injuries with their young guys, but they got hit in spades. It doesn’t have much to do with a draft from five years ago.

Anyway, I think it’s time for Liriano and Volquez to start using pine tar for those spinning curveballs that hang and go 400 feet 🙂

R Edwards

To make matters worse, they continue to play Chris Stewart over the first round pick Sanchez!

Andy Prough

So – if Locke manages to beat the Brewers tomorrow and Sanchez comes up again this year and plays as well as he already did, then your theory of FO incompetence for the past 5 years is completely shot? Putting yourself out on a limb there….


Of course if they didn’t have Sanchez they wouldn’t have a catcher next year unless they win the Russell Martin bidding war against the Dodgers and Red Sox. So now they’re stuck calling up an All Star pitcher as their 7th SP option and have a young guy that dominated AAA this year (Sadler) or a young guy that dominated AAA last year (Stolmy) as the next option. And that’s only because a top 20 prospect in all of baseball needed Tommy John surgery. Boy these guys are idiots. How’d they ever build one of the best orgs in baseball?
WFCIB (worst fan commenters in baseball)

R Edwards

And how is that “All Star” pitcher pitching since last year’s All Star game?


I do not think they ARE one of the best org in baseball. But that’s my opinion.

As of now, you are projecting as your catcher next year a guy who can’t routinely throw the ball to a base. 9 He CAN make the throw sometimes, but to me is way to variable)

Sticky, do you honestly see Locke, a guy demoted to AAA last year and this when you hear the word “all-star pitcher?’

I do hope some of their guys pick it up, but all we have left to show for the bay trade is Conner Joe. And all we have for the entire 2009 draft is a catcher that can’t throw to second or first with any regularity


Interesting that Sanchez was drafted for his defense and now finds better value with his bat.


Every team has dozens of picks that would have been better IN HINDSIGHT. Why don’t you tell us right now which five pitchers the Pirates should have selected at the end of the first round in this week’s draft – right now, before you get to see how they pitch over the next six years.


Five PITCHERS, or players??

Because I wasn’t all for 5 pitchers instead of Tucker, who i don’t dislike as much as the Joe pick and who i might have considered at 39.

In 2009 I can name 5 pitchers I wanted instead of Sanchez though, not all of them successes.
Aaron Crow, Shelby Miller, Mike Leake, Tyler Matzek, Drew Storen. Matzek ( who I liked a lot) is terrible, the others OK to better.

This year I would have taken Gatewood instead of Joe, if I was gonna go risky. I might have taken Diquan Forbes if I was committed to a SS. I would have taken Chavis before Tucker. Maybe even Read-Foley. I liked Foster Griffen, but don’t have a draft order so I don’t know if they could have had him

I understand that picking in the mid 20’s is a crapshoot, but taking 3rd round talent in the first round , to ME, does not seem like a good strategy

R Edwards

I still can’t believe we traded Morris a way, had the opportunity to draft Gatewood with that pick, and instead took Connor Joe. Was it being dumb or just cheap??


Wonderfully stated.


Not a good draft…..I sure hope this year’s is not a repeat….

Lee Young

that ‘genius’ idea was lauded at the time. Capt Hindsight is NEVER wrong.

C’mon Doc…you’re better than those types of cheap shots.


Foo… you know me way too long. I have been consistent in criticism of the FO. I did applaud making the playoffs, and admit I was wrong on Matzek ( see above) in 2009 and liriano last year. I try to be scrupulously honest.

But I also am in favor of taking the best player, not the most signable

But that is me.

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