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Hurdle: Morton is 'Plan A' for Thursday, Cole will likely pitch 'similar to college'


­More notes from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's afternoon press scrum:

-P- Asked about his own major-league debut, Clint recalled, "I hit a home run my second at bat, fantastic day. Mom and dad in the stands my sisters." His advice for Gerrit Cole: "We chatted earlier today. He gets to blaze his own trail. I tell all the players: respect everything, fear nothing. ... You worked hard to get here, just go."

-P- Russell Martin does not have any additional responsibility tonight. "He always goes out with a plan and the pitchers either follow it completely or they pick their sequences maybe not to. It'll be like the first time he caught Locke. ... or Jeanmar ... guys without a lot of major-league experience. I think that Gerrit will rely on him heavily."

-P- Charlie Morton is likely to pitch Thursday. "Charlie has become the Plan A, yes sir."

-P- Wandy Rodriguez has been placed on the DL. "He had complications Sunday playing catch in Chicago."

­-P- Hurdle thinks that Cole was likely ready to use his slider early in the count and pitch backwards occasionally. "Time will tell ... Every opportunity leads to some experience. Good and bad. It would not surprise me whatsoever if he gets into a routine or a rhythm that he'll pitch similar to how he did in college. He had no problem throwing his slider first pitch in college. So it wouldn't surprise me."

-P- Hurdle expressed confidence that Cole will not be too "amped up" tonight: "I think he is going to be in a good place. I think there'll be emotions. Some RPMs going. I think after a few pitches he'll get to the spot he needs to get to."