8/12/2014 11:23 P.M. ET
Cole to make fourth Triple-A rehab start Saturday
By Stephen Pianovich / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole isn't rejoining the Pirates' rotation just yet.
The right-hander will make his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis this Saturday, manager Clint Hurdle announced Tuesday. On the disabled list with a strained right lat, Cole threw six shutout innings Sunday, tallying 74 pitches. Hurdle said the organization would like to see both Cole's innings and pitch count increase in the next outing.
"We believe the next time he's going to take it and go seven [innings] and close to 90 [pitches]," Hurdle said. "It puts him in a very good position to come back and help this club. We'll see, though, he hasn't pitched yet."
Cole hasn't started for the Pirates since July 4 and is on the DL for the second time this season. The Pirates have also been focusing on Cole's mechanics during this rehab process, and they even pushed back his second Triple-A start three days to bring extra attention to aspects such as his arm slot and the consistency of his delivery.
In his second Major League season, Cole is 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 14 starts, but he has appeared just twice since June 3.
Volquez saves run with sensational snag
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates starter Edinson Volquez needed something to turn around his first inning against the Tigers on Tuesday night. He got it when he turned around and blindly made a spectacular stab on a chopping grounder.
There was already one run across in the first inning against the right-hander when Detroit's Victor Martinez stepped to the plate with runners on the corners. Martinez hit a grounder right back to Volquez, who twisted his left arm around his body after delivering the pitch to glove the ball blindly.
Volquez cut the run off at the plate, and catcher Russell Martin tagged out Ian Kinsler, who was caught between third base and home. Volquez got J.D. Martinez to fly out and end the inning by allowing just one run, and the Pirates went on to win, 4-2.
Volquez said he had "no idea" how he made the play.
"I found out I had the ball when it hit my glove -- half and half [leather and palm]," Volquez said. "I turned around, supposed to throw to second base, I was so surprised the ball came at me that I threw to home plate. I got lucky. When I pitch the ball, I go toward the first-base side, and when I turned around, I was looking straight at home plate, so I decided to throw the ball there."
Added manager Clint Hurdle: "It's going to make a highlight film. ... He found a way to keep things interesting out there to say the least. We had pitchers' infield practice earlier this homestand, and we didn't see a lot of that going on."
Volquez was checked by the training staff, who looked at his left palm, but he remained in the game. Between innings, Volquez -- who secured his 10th victory by allowing two runs over the course of six innings -- had some laughs with teammates as they reenacted the play.
Bucs call up Cumpton to help out bullpen
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates recalled Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, and the team plans to use the right-hander out of the bullpen.
Casey Sadler, who allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning in Monday night's 11-6 win over the Tigers, was sent to Triple-A just hours after being placed on the 25-man roster when Andrew McCutchen hit the 15-day disabled list.
In his fourth stint with the Pirates this year, Cumpton will be in a new role as a member of the bullpen. Cumpton has made 15 of his 16 Major League appearances as a starter, including all 10 he's made this season. However, the Bucs will use him as a reliever for the time being, especially when they need someone to pitch multiple innings.
"[High-leverage bullpen situations] aren't something he has a lot of experience doing," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Game situations and the way games get played, it might force it that way. But it's not at the top of the list. We're looking for multiple innings first."
The Georgia Tech product does not have much relief experience, but the organization shifted him to that role in the past few days in anticipation of a potential callup.
Cumpton, who has a 4.98 ERA this season, was scratched from a start Friday for Indianapolis and came out of the bullpen Sunday, when he pitched around two hits for a scoreless frame. It was Cumpton's first appearance since Aug. 1, and it's the only one he's made in the past 11 days.
"I'm looking to get in games, get back in a routine, face hitters," Cumpton said Tuesday. "It's a little tough not facing hitters for eight days."
• Second baseman Neil Walker was not available for Tuesday night's game against the Tigers, Hurdle said. Walker has been out of the Pirates' starting lineup nine times in the last 10 games with tightness in his lower back. Walker re-aggravated the issue after pinch-hitting in the ninth inning against the Padres on Saturday, and Hurdle said the team is not rushing Walker in his recovery.
"What we did last time was kind of keep him involved in baseball activity while he was recovering, so we're probably kicking that off the table for the first three days he's back now," Hurdle said. "He'll get rehab work, and then maybe he'll get rehab work in the next three days."
• Injured infielder Clint Barmes (strained groin) will begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday. Barmes will start with Double-A Altoona and also play with Triple-A Indianapolis before coming back to the Pirates.
Barmes was hurt in early July, but he has been able to run the bases and take batting practice with the team in recent weeks. The 35-year-old is hitting .239 in 42 appearances this season.
First number, last word
.769: The Pirates' winning percentage when they hit two or more home runs in a game. The Bucs were 11-6 winners against the Tigers on Monday night, as they went deep four times -- half coming off the bat of Travis Snider.
"I'm really bored. Whatever pops up, I'm going to do. Whatever I'm thinking about, that's going to happen. I'm trying to think of something new every single day. I'll probably think of something different tomorrow. I wake up and go, 'I can't play, so what can I do?' " -- McCutchen, on how he spends time in the dugout during games while being sidelined with a fractured rib.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.