Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Today was a camp day at Pirate City, which means intra squad games. Usually the Triple-A and Double-A teams go against each other on one field, with the A-ball teams squaring off on the opposite field. The upper level game featured a matchup of the top two prospects in the system. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon were opposing each other, with Cole throwing against the Triple-A hitters, and Taillon going up against the Double-A crew. It was a regular start for either of them, since it doesn’t matter to the pitcher who the opposing pitcher was. For those in attendance, it was a chance to watch the top two pitchers in the system make what will probably be their final starts before the season. For the first three innings, both pitchers faced Travis Snider once per inning, with Snider combining to go 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and a sacrifice fly. Snider had the double and walk against Cole, and a single and sacrifice fly to the wall against Taillon. Gerrit Cole Gerrit Cole Cole pitched 5.1 innings today, coming out after a few pitches in the sixth. He was getting good results, and I don’t recall him giving up a run. Cole wasn’t throwing with his usual velocity, sitting 92-94 MPH in the first three innings. He improved to 95-96 in the final innings. I thought this might have been due to the cold weather today, or because of a finger issue which had him getting medical tape between innings. It turned out that it was neither, and Cole has been dialing it back all Spring. “It’s just Spring,” Cole said. “I’m not really trying to throw very hard. I probably got a little looser toward the end.” As for the finger issue, Cole mentioned that it’s something that happens all the time. He cuts the side of his thumb because of the way that he pitches, although it doesn’t really impact his performance. Cole made easy work of the Triple-A hitters. The one challenge he faced was when he gave up an opposite field double to Travis Snider. Cole threw an 88 MPH changeup, and Snider took it opposite field down the third base line for a double. The right-hander’s next stop will be Triple-A, where he made two starts last year. The second start, which came in the playoffs, didn’t go so well, with Cole being bounced early in the start. Cole won’t have to change much in his approach to adjust to the Triple-A hitters this year. “You just take the same approach I had no matter who is in the box,” Cole said. “You’ve got to pitch a little more. Pitching a little more, I’ve been doing that since college, so that becomes more natural to me. So just sticking with what I do, creating angles, and locating the fastballs is pretty much how I attack, and I’m not going to change anything.” Jameson Taillon Jameson Taillon Today was the first time Taillon went five innings this Spring, after going four innings a few times in his previous starts. He threw 79 pitches, and had two innings rolled due to reaching his pitch count. Taillon was scheduled to throw around 75 pitches on the day. “I was pretty happy I got to go five today,” Taillon said. “That has me ready for the year. All my pitches feel pretty good. Same thing as always, just got to get them consistent.” He said that his two-seam and curveball were both working today. He was throwing his fastball in the 93-95 range, touching 96. The highlight of the day was when he struck out Snider on a curveball. Taillon threw it low in the zone, and got Snider swinging and missing when the bottom fell out of the pitch. Taillon also had some success with his changeup today. One issue for the top prospect this Spring has been elevating the fastball. That’s been a constant issue in his career, and one where he’s made some good improvements. However, in his previous outings he’s elevated his pitches, getting hit hard but not always paying for it. Today he looked better in that department, keeping the ball down most of the time. “It’s just something I’ve got to keep working on,” Taillon said. “It’s really a mentality deal now. Just got to drive, in my head, think power down. Power all my power stuff down. It was there at times today, and sometimes I was leaving it up, but it will be there for me.” The right-hander will face a different challenge pitching in Altoona this year. The Texas native threw in Bradenton at the start of the 2012 season. He skipped the cold April in West Virginia in 2011. This year will be the first time he’s thrown in cold weather, with the April temperatures in Altoona sometimes dropping into the 30s. “I put my order in yesterday with my agent for some long johns and a bunch of long sleeve under shirts,” Taillon said. And his approach for handling the cold weather during the game? “Stay close to the heater in the dugout. That’s my goal.” Another difference this year is that it will be the first time Taillon has been unleashed to just pitch. In 2011 he was on a strict innings limit. In 2012 he was working on specific things like his changeup and his fastball command. This year he’ll be able to just pitch and go deep into games. “That’s the way I’m looking at it. Just go out there and get outs, go as deep as I can in the ballgames,” Taillon said.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Robert Griffin III benched by Redskins for McCoy

Lovie Smith: 2-9 Bucs are still in playoff contention

UCLA QB Brett Hundley likely to enter NFL draft

Bills will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday's game

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

Rockies pitcher takes shot at former Astros pitcher

WATCH: Paul Pierce signs autograph during game

Jeremy Hill asks great question about alma mater LSU

NBA rookie rankings after 1st month of 2014-15 season

Statistic about Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler very revealing

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

Why Packers' offense continues to evolve despite success

'Fire Idzik' billboard updated with suggestion for Jets owner

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.