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Pirates’ Gerrit Cole shut down for remainder of season

The Pirates’ ace is still experiencing swelling in his throwing arm.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 60-day disabled list and will be shutdown for the remainder of the season due to inflammation in his right elbow per a team release.

Cole had just returned from the disabled list prior to Monday night’s start. The Pirates’ ace struggled though, only retiring six batters and giving up five runs—all earned—on four hits and four walks. He threw 55 pitches through two innings before Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle pulled him from the game.

In the midst of a postseason race, the Pirates’ hope of grabbing a playoff spot appear even further diminished by this news. According to FanGraphs’ projections, the Pirates have 0.5 percent probability of getting a wild card spot. At 69-73 though, and with just 20 games remaining, a 1-in-200 chance without Cole seems optimistic.

Through 116 innings pitched, Cole allowed 50 earned runs on 131 hits and 36 walks while striking out 98. Following up an excellent 2015 season, Cole regressed a tad, notably in strikeout rate. In his favor though, Cole’s BABIP climbed substantially from his career norm.

While arm trouble seems to be the issue, Cole has exhibited no loss in velocity over the course of the season which seems like a good sign at face value. Whether the swelling is a result of anything else remains to be seen, but the extra time off prior to the 2017 season is likely precautionary and a good idea for a team largely out of contention.

Cole is heading into his first season of arbitration this offseason and is likely in line for a raise from his $541,000 salary regardless of injury.