The pitcher returned to the mound on Monday in a game against the Phillies, the same day he was activated from the disabled list, which he was on due to elbow issues. He allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in just two innings of work. The Pirates dropped that game to Philadelphia, 6-2.
The 26-year-old is now heading to the disabled list for a third time this season after throwing just 29 of his 55 pitches for strikes on Monday. He finishes this season with a record of 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 21 starts, just one year after going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA in an All-Star 2015 campaign.
Cole was expected to come back and help out a Pirates team that still has hopes of an NL Wild Card spot. Instead, his focus will turn to getting healthy for the 2017 season.