PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Following Thursday night’s 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talked with Joe Starkey about Gerrit Cole’s recent performance and the emergence of J.A. Happ.

Prior to Cole’s recent struggles, most fans and analysts were declaring the Pirates starter as an “ace.” Searage addressed that and said he’s not quite ready to give Cole that designation.

“I’m not ready to crown him yet,” Searage said. “He definitely has the potential, and yes, it looks like it’s going to be in his future, but right now he is one of the five that goes out there to keep the team in the game and give us a chance to win.”

Searage was willing though to say if the season comes down to one game, he’d feel comfortable giving the ball to Cole.

The Pirates have gained a reputation across baseball for taking broken down pitchers and returning them to their former glory, and Searage shared what the secret to their success has been.

“It’s keeping it simple, K-I-S-S,” Searage said. “At the Major League level, you don’t want to do any wholesale changes or anything like that, but if you see something that stands out that you think that might help, and then he tries it, and then all of a sudden it does help, then it just gives you credibility that way. So you have to build trust and you try to keep it simple.”

Click the audio link below to hear more from Searage on all these topics and the recent resurgence of reliever Arquimedes Caminero.

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