Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 10, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic
June 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Gerrit Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps Tuesday, leaving the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates without their ace.

Touted prospect Jameson Taillon was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Cole's spot in the rotation. Taillon was set to make his second major league start Tuesday night against the New York Mets.

It's a disappointing - if not unexpected - blow to the Pirates, who had lost a season-worst five straight games. Cole left his start early Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals because of triceps tightness, and it's unclear how long he's expected to be sidelined. Head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk is scheduled to speak with reporters Wednesday at Citi Field.

Cole was placed on the DL retroactive to Saturday, so if he's able to return after 15 days, he would miss only two turns in the rotation and could pitch June 26 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 12 starts after going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA last season, when he made his first All-Star team and finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Left-hander Jeff Locke is scheduled to start Wednesday night against the Mets, with right-hander Juan Nicasio going Thursday night in the series finale.

Taillon, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 amateur draft, missed the past two seasons while recuperating from Tommy John surgery and a sports hernia operation. The 24-year-old right-hander made his big league debut last Wednesday in Pittsburgh against the Mets, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings in a no-decision. The Pirates lost 6-5 in 10 innings.

The following day, he was optioned back to Triple-A.

Taillon was 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 10 starts at Indianapolis this season. He had 61 strikeouts and six walks in 61 2/3 innings. At the time of his promotion Tuesday, he ranked fourth in the International League in ERA, and first in WHIP (0.81), batting average against (.196) and fewest walks per nine innings (0.88).

Also Tuesday, catcher Chris Stewart was back in the lineup after leaving Saturday's game with a sore left ankle. Pittsburgh is missing regular backstop Francisco Cervelli, who went on the disabled list Saturday with a broken bone in his left hand.

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