Jul 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates' Gerrit Cole to throw side session Thursday

Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole will throw a side session later this week before the team decides what the rest of his season may look like, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune report passed along by Sports Injury Alert.

Cole, 23, has been solid all season for the Pirates, heading into the All-Star Break at 7-4 with a respectable 3.78 earned run average in 19 starts. However, injuries have been an issue for the right-hander, as he missed almost all of June due to shoulder fatigue and in his first start back on June 28, the New York Mets hit him hard. In his subsequent start, which came on July 4, he was pulled due to a lat issue – which continues to sideline him.

His strikeout-to-walk ratio has altered drastically from last season to this one, falling from 3.57 in 2013 to 2.69 this year across 85 2/3 innings of work. Pittsburgh could use a healthy Cole, although some have suggested shutting him down to avoid major injury, given the team is locked in a tight playoff race in the National League Central with the likes of the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers – all of whom are separated by just 3 1/2 games to begin the second half.

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