The Pirates have at least two and as many as three potential rotation pieces slowed by injuries at the moment, and director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk provided updates on lefty Steven Brault and right-handers Clay Holmes and Jameson Taillon to reporters Wednesday (Twitter thread via Adam Berry of MLB.com). Brault, slowed by a shoulder strain, was shut down from throwing early this month. But while the initial prognosis suggested that he’d be reevaluated after two weeks, the 27-year-old has yet to start up a throwing program more than three weeks since that announcement. Holmes, diagnosed with a foot fracture earlier this month, has been throwing from one knee from a distance of 75 to 90 feet. Taillon, the club’s top pitching talent, is throwing from 120 feet in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He’s still expected to miss the entire season given the timing of last August’s operation, but it’s still encouraging to hear that the righty is ramping up his throwing efforts without issue.
A couple more injury updates…
- Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun provided a positive update on his recovery from a jaw fracture, tweeting that he has been cleared for baseball activities and daily workouts. After being struck in the face by a fastball during a Cactus League at-bat late in camp, Calhoun had been limited to lighter exercise like riding a stationary bike, as Texas manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan yesterday (Twitter link). The club still expects him to be ready for the season opener — whenever it may be. Calhoun’s availability, or lack thereof, will probably have direct ramifications for prospect Nick Solak. A highly touted hitter without a clear opening on the diamond, Solak would’ve opened the season in left field had Calhoun been on the injured list. But with Calhoun projected to open in left field, Rougned Odor at second base, Todd Frazier at third base and Danny Santana in center field, there’s no clear spot for Solak to slot into the lineup. A rotation through several positions each week could get him regular at-bats, but the Rangers could also want him to receive everyday reps at one position in Triple-A. Then again, if the season opens with expanded rosters — as is reportedly under consideration — a player with Solak’s bat and versatility could prove a particularly valuable commodity to have on hand.
- Joc Pederson and Dustin May were both limited during Spring Training, but Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick) that the two players are “essentially recovered” and should be ready to fully participate whenever a second Spring Training camp opens. Pederson missed time with a hip injury, while May was bothered by a side problem and was largely limited to playing catch at the time of the league shutdown.