PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Gerrit Cole threw around 65 pitches today in a simulated game in Bradenton and reported no issues. Cole did give up three homers, saying he could work on the downhill plane of his fastball, but otherwise feels good.

“The progression has been very similar to previous years, you continue to just hammer out fastball command the best you can,” Cole said. “I got some good swings and misses on change-ups, which is something we are looking for, trying to incorporate that kind of stuff.”

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“Right now, we’re just looking for consistent arm action and we’re just looking for feedback from hitters,” Cole said of work on his change-up. “Whether it’s tipped early or if they see it early, I think there were two today that were a little goosed, but for the most part all of them were good. Even got some swings and misses on some, so that’s a step in the right direction.”

Cole is expected to throw against major leaguers next time out and will have two more spring outings before the regular season.

Hughes Hurt

Jared Hughes said he felt pain in his left lat during his last outing and he has been diagnosed with a lat strain and is day-to-day. It’s a new injury for Hughes who said there was a specific moment where he felt it.

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“A sense of relief that it wasn’t an oblique, definitely, that’s something that you see guys miss a lot of time,” Hughes said. “It’s something that will heal; I just need to take care of it.”

“I’m a super-positive guy,” he said. “I believe in positive talk and that’s gonna help you heal. I’m a good soldier. I’m going to do whatever the heck they tell me to do. They are professionals at this, I’m the athlete, I’m injured. They will tell me how to get better.”

Other Injury News

Jung-Ho Kang continues modified baserunning, as trainer Todd Tomczyk explained that means “not the normal base running progression that all of our infielders go, meaning hitting the bag hard, making the turns, doing the hard 90s. He’s still making his way back to full base running.”

Tomczyk said they checked the entire elbow in regards to Triple A catcher Elias Diaz, and they are still evaluating. Tomczyk said it’s more of a chronic thing and they are in a holding pattern right now.

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