MILWAUKEE -- Gerrit Cole had an interesting outing Saturday night for Triple-A Indianapolis in Buffalo. The Pirates' top pitching prospect allowed singles to the first three men he faced -- two of whom wound up scoring -- then pitched hitless ball for the rest of his six-inning stint.
Baseball talent evaluators are always looking for little telltale signs, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle considered the experience a good one for Cole.
"On a night that could've punched him in the eyes and knocked him sideways, he was able to hold on, fight through and finish," said Hurdle, with Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor's report on his mind. "So that turned out to be a good night, and he showed some growth.
"He's improving. He's still been challenged. The fastball command has been a little erratic. But he's continuing his development."
In 10 starts with Indianapolis, Cole has split six decisions with an ERA of 3.67 in 54 innings. He has struck out 39, but has his highest walk rate as a pro, with 4.3 per nine innings.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.