Well, we expected it after yesterday's announcement that Gerrit Cole was going to miss a start because of shoulder fatigue. He was placed on the 15 day DL today, clearing a spot for Jeff Locke on the roster and giving his shoulder time to recover. The move is retroactive to June 4th.
The brass sounded as if they were going to take the cautionary road with Cole. He's been a busy hurler over the past two seasons, tossing 196-1/3 IP last year and leading the team with 76-1/3 frames this season. The Cole Train was 18-11/3.39 for the Bucs over the past two years with 185 K in 213 innings, and was a staff workhorse, and his long-term health certainly overshadows any short-term needs.
The brass said that they had noticed some "red flags," and Cole complained of a dead arm after his last start. The good news is that tests revealed no structural damage; the Bucs think there may be a mechanical problem with Cole's delivery that needs tweaked.
Hopefully, rest is the answer, A staff that's already lost AJ Burnett to free agency, Wandy Rodriguez to non-performance and Jameson Taillon to TJ surgery will be hard pressed to replace Cole for any length of time.
Pittsburgh has already called up Brandon Cumpton and Locke from Indy, with Vance Worley in the hole, so there's not much left to draw on from the farm. This drives home the dubious nature of the front office's dice-roll decision to not bulk up the Pirate rotation during the off season.