CHICAGO — Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole expressed confidence he’ll return this season after rejoining the team and playing catch Tuesday.

Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday and traveled to Los Angeles for a second opinion with a specialist, who confirmed posterior elbow inflammation.

“This is very encouraging news,” Pirates trainer Todd Tomczyk said. “He is now focused on how he is going to help this team win some ballgames the rest of the season.”

Pittsburgh entered Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs 11/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.

Cole, 7-9 with a 3.55 ERA in 20 starts, played catch in right field with Tomczyk before Tuesday’s game as pitching coach Ray Searage looked on.

“It’s comforting to have confirmation that you’ll be OK,” Cole said.

Cole is eligible to return from the DL on Sept. 9.

INDIANS: A person familiar with the trade said Cleveland is nearing a deal to acquire outfielder Coco Crisp from Oakland.

The trade would have to be official by Wednesday for Crisp to be eligible for the postseason.

Cleveland has a need for outfield depth because left fielder Michael Brantley is out for the season following surgery and Abraham Almonte is ineligible for the playoffs following a PED suspension.

The 36-year-old Crisp is batting .234 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 102 games this season. He previously played in Cleveland from 2002-05.

METS: Steven Matz is not ready to come off the disabled list, and the Mets have scratched him from his scheduled start Thursday night against Miami.

The rookie left-hander, sidelined with tightness in his pitching shoulder, said he felt discomfort while playing catch Monday.

New York Manager Terry Collins said Jacob deGrom will be moved up a day to start for Matz.

YANKEES: The Pirates sent outfielder Tito Polo and left-hander Stephen Tarpley to New York to complete the Aug. 1 deal in which Pittsburgh acquired right-hander Ivan Nova.

Polo, 22, hit .289 with 16 homers in 109 games between Class-A Bradenton and West Virginia this season.

Tarpley, 23, was 6-4 with a 4.32 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 100 innings with Class-A Bradenton.