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Pirates pleased with Cole's first rehab start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gerrit Cole's pitching line in his rehab start Monday night for Triple-A Indianapolis was sharp: five shutout innings, three walks, seven strikeouts.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's eyes and ears did not diminish the impression.

"I got a report from [Indianapolis pitching coach Tom] Filer, and watched videotape," said Hurdle, setting up a list of Cole's assets. "Firm velocity, threw both of his breaking balls [slider and curve], threw some changeups -- all four of his pitches. And threw the number [81] of pitches we wanted. A good first step back."

Step No. 2 will also occur with the Indians, this weekend, when the righty will target 100 pitches.

Unless the staff sees, or Cole feels, anything to warrant a change in the agenda, he next would make his return start during the Bucs' upcoming homestand.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
Read More: Pittsburgh Pirates, Gerrit Cole