Notes from this afternoon's press scrum:
Update (11:55): The Pirates have announced that Russell Martin has been scratched from the lineup due to "lower body soreness." McKenry will bat 8th and catch; Mercer has been moved up to the second slot in the lineup.
-P- There is no update on Starling Marte's status. "It's so early we haven't even talked about it," Hurdle said. Marte strained his rib cage sliding head first into second base on a stolen base attempt Wednesday night.
-P- Hurdle confirmed that Brandon Cumpton will start Thursday's game in Cincinnati.
-P- Cumpton’s “pitchability” and Jeanmar needing to “get another outing under his belt” were the reasons given by Hurdle for Cumpton getting Thursday’s start.
-P- Jeanmar Gomez will make rehab start for Indianapolis on Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw five innings and 75 pitches, “with more focus on the ups-and-downs,” Hurdle said.
-P- In his first start, Gerrit Cole threw 80 percent fastballs. The Pirates manager said he is unconcerned about Cole’s pitch selection and is not focused on Cole’s pitch mix. “I’m going to let him pitch. I’m not going to put him under a microscope like everyone else seems to want to right now. Let the young man pitch, that is my mantra right now.”
-P- As Cole prepares to make his second Major League start, Hurdle said that he thought things would slow down for him in terms of pregame anticipation, but that does not necessarily translate to the game itself slowing down: “I’ve gone out to the mound with eight year veterans that tell me ‘the game’s going pretty fast right now, man. Just give me a second.’”
-P- Hurdle credited Neal Huntington, Kyle Stark, Greg Smith with laying the groundwork for the Pirates’ pitching depth this season, pointing out that “a lot of hard work that went on for three years that went unnoticed because there was no tangible evidence of success at the Major League level.” “We knew the rotational depth was strong coming in,” Hurdle continued, “We thought we were 10-11 strong. Little did we think we’d need to pull 10 or 11 the first half of the 2013 season … you never know what it’s going to take but we put ourselves in a position to deal with adversity, to be built for adversity.”