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Cole scratched from rehab start

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PHOENIX -- When Gerrit Cole was returned to the Pirates' disabled list on July 9 with a sore right latissimus muscle, the injury was portrayed as rare for baseball and finicky to treat and recover from.

In possible evidence of that, Cole has been scratched from his scheduled rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Indianapolis.

There was no exact or elaborate explanation for the move from the Pirates, nor even a suggestion that it represented a setback in his recovery.

In a text message shared with reporters, Buccos general manager Neal Huntington wrote, "After Gerrit's last outing and last bullpen, we decided another bullpen to refine some things was the best course of action."

That last outing, for the Indians on Monday, was smooth and encouraging: Cole blanked Rochester for five innings on five hits, walking three and striking out seven. The day-after reports to manager Clint Hurdle indicated Cole "iced down and had only normal next-day soreness."

Thus, it is entirely possible Cole was scratched to hasten his return to the Pirates' rotation -- and that "another bullpen" alluded to a normal between-starts routine.

Cole threw 81 pitches on Monday, and had been targeted for 100 in Saturday's rehab start.

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. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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