Cole (elbow) is taking part in his normal offseason program, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports. Cole was diagnosed with elbow inflammation last August and was eventually shut down for the season. It appears that his recovery is going well and that he should be good to go when pitchers and catchers report to spring training in February.
Cole (elbow) should be able to have a normal offseason, according to agent Scott Boras, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. While it sounds like Cole should be able to go through his normal offseason routine in preparation for spring training, nothing should be taken for granted given the nature of the injury. Cole was diagnosed with elbow inflammation in late August -- the team has been adamant that there is no ligament damage -- and "needed a few months" to let the swelling go down, per Boras. Cole went 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 98:36 K:BB in 21 starts in 2016.
The Pirates are encouraged Cole (elbow) isn't suffering from ligament damage, GM Neal Huntington said Sunday. Speaking on his weekly radio show, Huntington said that all of the medical reports have prescribed rest -- as opposed to surgery -- as the best way to recover from the injury. Until Cole actually gets back out on the mound and says he feels good, however, there will remain some lingering doubt about the health of his elbow.
The Pirates are reportedly ready to shut Cole down for the season, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports. Cole returned from an elbow injury to start Monday's contest, but he struggled mightily, leading some to believe that his elbow was not back to full strength. With their playoff hopes fading, it seems that the Pirates are content with simply giving their ace an extended offseason and getting him fully ready for 2017. With this development, Drew Hutchison and Steven Brault could garner some more starts down the stretch.
Cole (7-10) was battered in his return to the rotation, allowing five runs in two innings on Monday against the Phillies. He gave up four hits, walked four, and struck out three. Cole was making his first start since August 24, and it did not go according to plan. After entering August with a 2.78 ERA, Cole has watched that figure balloon to 3.88, due to the 18 earned runs he's coughed up in his last four starts. The 26-year-old will try to get back on track Saturday against the Reds.