Pirates notebook: Cole suffering from rib inflammation
February 19, 2016 10:04 PM
Pirates' Gerrit Cole hugs it out with bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade before morning workouts in Bradenton, Fla.
By Bill Brink / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BRADENTON, Fla. — Inflammation in Gerrit Cole’s right rib cage has forced this right-hander to modify his throwing program this spring.
Neither Cole nor head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk identified the source of the inflammation, though they said it happened in January in offseason training. Cole said the issue was gradual, not the result of one specific incident.
“It was just something that just kept nagging, and we needed to kind of address [it], so that we could get both feet on the ground when we got out here and move in the right direction,” Cole said.
Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talks about left hander Jonathon Niese. (Video by Peter Diana 2/19/2016)
Cole is throwing off of flat ground with no restrictions, and Tomczyk said Cole would throw off the slope of the mound — but not necessarily the rubber — Monday.
“It’s just a modified throwing program at this point,” Cole said. “I’m not too far behind everybody else. But I feel good.”
Asked if it hurt when he threw, Cole said, “It’s definitely not prohibiting anything.”
Nothing official on Joyce
General manager Neal Huntington neither confirmed nor denied a Fox Sports report that the Pirates signed outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor league contract.
“We are working through the process of potentially seeing if there’s additional player or players out there that we might bring into camp,” Huntington said. “We’re always looking to be creative and add depth to the organization, but nothing to report as of yet.”
Huntington said the Pirates weren’t specifically looking for a fourth outfielder.
“We don’t necessarily feel like we [need one], but there are some pretty good players still out there that may add depth, that may add a different dynamic to the club,” he said.
Right-hander Nick Kingham, who had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery May 27, is throwing off flat ground, Tomczyk said. … Left-haner Jesse Biddle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month, is expected to begin throwing in mid-March, Tomczyk said. Biddle had Tommy John surgery in October. … Non-roster outfielder Antoan Richardson still is recovering from October surgery on a broken right foot, Tomczyk said. Richardson is close to returning to full baseball activities.
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