CHICAGO -- It seems that any alarm bells ringing after Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole was a last-minute scratch from Game 2 of a doubleheader on Tuesday in Chicago can be silenced -- that is, if encouraging tests results after an examination of his hamstring prove to be accurate.
"We got some good news back today that it's not super serious," Cole said. "So we'll just take it day-by-day right now and kind of see how it responds to some treatment and some rest. Then get back out there as soon as we can."
Cole, the American League leader in strikeouts, noticed the discomfort while warming up before his scheduled start in the visiting bullpen at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"Finishing my delivery on the first handful of pitches during the first bullpen yesterday, just had some discomfort kind of getting to the ball," Cole said. "I just wasn't 100 percent ready to go at that point. I wasn't just able to ramp it up. I warmed up well on flat ground. It was just kind of bizarre. It just kept grabbing."
Cole, 28, has been one of the AL's top hurlers the past couple of seasons, his first with Houston. This season, he is 14-5 with a 2.87 ERA and a league-leading 226 strikeouts. With Houston in a busy part of its schedule and trying to work around Monday's rainout in Chicago, Cole's injury was ill-timed.
"It's frustrating to be in a stretch when we don't have any off days," Cole said. "It's frustrating to be in the back end of a doubleheader. The bullpen's had to pick us up. I don't know. If you could pick the least ideal time for that to happen, this would probably be it."
Before the game, Astros manager A.J. Hinch declined to name a starting pitcher for Houston's contest on Saturday in Oakland but said Cole would not pitch that day. Still, Cole will accompany the team to the Bay Area, and he said it is possible that he could start near the end of the four-game series.
"I don't think it's been ruled out, but I really haven't had that conversation yet with the manager," Cole said. "Kind of informed him of what the doctors have told us -- that the severity is not bad. We'll just kind of take it one day at a time."
All in all, the mild nature of Cole's injury appears to be good news for one of baseball's hottest teams and prime World Series threats. Cole said his doctors wouldn't go so far as to call the injury a strain. All signs point toward a brief absence.
"When I spoke to the doctor, he didn't use that word," Cole said. "He was just encouraged by what he saw. The recovery, barring any setbacks, along with the way I'm feeling, should be pretty quick."