Pirates notebook: More to be done in Starling Marte's recovery

SAN FRANCISCO — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he is not optimistic left fielder Starling Marte will come off the disabled list today when he is eligible.

Marte, who went on the DL July 23 because of a concussion, had his first full workout since then Tuesday at AT&T Park. He shagged balls, ran the bases and took some batting practice. That’s the first step in evaluating a player’s recovery after a head injury.

“There’s a process involved — exertion, getting the heart rate up,” Hurdle said. “[We’ll] see how he functions through this evening, see how he feels [today]. He hasn’t seen any live pitching. Hasn’t seen any velocity. Optimistic that [it] was a good day and built some momentum for [today].”

Hurdle said after the team gathers information from Marte regarding how he feels, they will sit down and talk about what the next step will be.

“We’re going to have to go and have a sit-down conversation with him about what we feel is best for him next,” Hurdle said.

Whether or not that could be a rehab assignment with Class AAA Indianapolis has yet to be determined.

“I always like to have those conversations first with the players about what the next step is, and we’ll do that [today],” Hurdle said.

Not the ‘right’ time

Pedro Alvarez was not in the lineup Tuesday despite the Pirates finally facing a right-handed starting pitcher.

Hurdle said Alvarez’s knee is fine, and the move was more about getting hotter bats into the lineup and working with the third baseman to improve his game.

“I tried to get a couple hot bats in the lineup in [Travis] Snider and [Josh] Harrison,” Hurdle said. “Pedro was out early continuing to work offensively, defensively. We’re going to do everything we can to get him back in the form where he’s a very competitive player on both sides of the ball. That’s where we’re working to together.”

Cole solid in Class AAA start

Hurdle said the feedback he received after Gerrit Cole’s rehab start Monday night was promising.

“Normal next-day soreness,” Hurdle said. “Threw both his breaking balls, threw some changeups, threw all four of his pitches.

“Curveball played well. Threw the number of pitches we wanted. [It was] a good first step back as far as the rehab.”

Cole pitched five scoreless innings for Indianapolis, giving up five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts at Rochester. He threw 81 pitches, 50 for strikes.

Cole is scheduled to increase his workload to 100 pitches in one more minor league outing.

Sight for sore arms

Vance Worley’s complete game did more than lead the team to a key win Monday night, Hurdle said.

It saved the arms in the bullpen with six games left on the 10-game road trip.

“That gives energy to everybody,” Hurdle said. “Any time you start a 10-game road trip and you start in Colorado … you need to be mindful of what you’re doing. I’ve seen too many times teams start road trips there when I was on the other side … the bullpen gets wiped out in a three-game series, and now you’ve got seven more games to play.

“We were able to minimize bullpen usage. Then you get another breather [Monday] night with six more games to play. Very helpful to everything we’re going to try and get done on this road trip.”

Jenn Menendez jmenendez@post-gazette.com and Twitter @JennMenendez.

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