- The Pirates signed outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall to a one-year, $2.75MM deal in the offseason, but he hasn’t played yet and it doesn’t appear he will anytime soon. Chisenhall’s still at home mending from left calf tightness. The 30-year-old opened the season on the injured list because of a finger issue, and not long after he started a rehab assignment April 19, the team shut him down because of the calf problem. The same calf prevented Chisenhall from playing past July 1 last year – his final season with the Indians.
- Catcher Francisco Cervelli, out since May 26 with a concussion, will be reexamined by a neurologist on Thursday. He still hasn’t been cleared for workouts. Cervelli’s season got off to a poor start even before his latest concussion-caused absence, while fellow Pirates backstops Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings have also posted subpar aggregate production. Diaz has hit well over the past month, though.
- While Reliever Keone Kela hasn’t taken a major league mound since May 4, he could start throwing again Thursday or Friday. Kela had gone on a rehab stint toward the end of last month, but the Pirates halted it May 31 after he suffered a setback in his injured right shoulder. A headline-grabbing acquisition for the Pirates last summer, the 26-year-old Kela has struggled to a 4.63 ERA/5.63 FIP with 8.49 K/9, 3.09 BB/9 and a 37.1 percent groundball rate in 11 2/3 innings this season.
- One of Keone’s fellow righty relievers, Nick Burdi, has returned to throwing. However, he’s still dealing with symptoms from the nerve injury that forced him to the IL almost two months ago. Burdi incurred his injury April 22 in his most recent outing. The flamethrowing 26-year-old had begun the season in encouraging fashion prior to that night, when he allowed five earned runs in a third of an inning and saw his ERA go from 4.32 to 9.35. Although an ERA that ugly is hard to ignore, it’s worth noting Burdi has put up a stellar 17:3 K:BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings this season.