Pirates place Gerrit Cole on 15-day DL

By Michael Dixon
Jun 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They’re 3-7 over their last 10 games, sit 11.5 games behind the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs, and have been passed by the St. Louis Cardinals for second. Now, star pitcher Gerrit Cole is going on the disabled list.

The good news is that this may only be a few starts. Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports reported that the Pirates are “optimistic” that Cole will be able to return on June 26, not missing any more than the minimum 15 days. 

Still, this is a blow. While his peripherals aren’t that great, Cole’s done a great job at preventing runs this season, posting a 2.77 ERA.

Additionally, the Pirates have a difficult schedule between now and June 26. They’re now at the beginning of a six-game road trip against the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh will then return home for a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants and another against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cole won’t be eligible to return until the last game against Los Angeles.

All four of those opponents have winning records, and all but the Dodgers are currently in playoff position. If they don’t get out of this funk quickly, the Pirates are in real danger of getting buried in the playoff race. Not having Cole to trot out every fifth day will definitely hurt that cause, especially if the injury keeps him out for longer than expected.