Gerrit Cole was removed from today's game with right lat soreness. He is being treated and will be reevaluated tomorrow, the Pirates announced.
Cole had cruised through five innings in 80 pitches before being removed. His final pitching line for the day reads: five innings pitched, one hit, five strike outs. In the last inning he pitched, his fastball velocity ranged between 90 and 94 mph.
We'll have to wait to learn more about Cole's status, but if he is diagnosed with anything more than soreness he could miss significant time. Obviously, in the bigger picture, this run of health issues is concerning.
With the uncertainty surrounding the health of Cole and Francisco Liriano, one would think that the Pirates will now aggressively seek to acquire some starting pitching help. Of course the problem is that the Pirates may be entering negotiations from a position of need rather than want.
If Cole ends up missing a few starts, Brandon Cumpton is the likely candidate to rejoin the rotation. He pitched today for Indianapolis, and would be on the same schedule as Cole.
UPDATE: Clint Hurdle and Cole's postgame comments
After he came off the mound in the fifth inning, Cole complained of soreness that felt "completely different" from the fatigue that landed him on the disabled list, Hurdle said.
"Precaution [to remove him from the game] as much as anything," Hurdle added. "I'm just glad he let us know. That's a sign of maturity. A good sign from him. We'll see where it goes. We'll probably know a little bit more tomorrow. I don't think anyone is overly alarmed right now."
Cole did not sound too concerned afterwards, describing the discomfort as "tightness ... not pain."
"It just started getting a little tight and fresh coming off. We just wanted to err on the side of caution. It feels good right now, should be good to go."
Cole speculated that the long waits between innings may have contributed to the tightness.
"I'm not going to complain about scoring runs, but there were some long lulls. I think maybe that might have had something to do with it. There were a couple of innings where I just had to sit there."