Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk provided reporters with an update on a trio of injured pitchers Wednesday, giving generally positive news on lefty Steven Brault and righties Jameson Taillon and Clay Holmes (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel).
Brault, who’ll turn 28 next week, is in the “advanced” stages of his rehab from a shoulder strain and should begin throwing in the next three to five days. The southpaw was shut down in Spring Training and was initially slated to be reevaluated two weeks after that date, but at last check he was three-plus weeks removed from the stoppage of his throwing program without much of an update. By the time he resumes throwing, Brault will have been sidelined for nearly two months. He’s functioned as both a starter and reliever for the Bucs over the past four seasons and should be an oft-used piece in both roles again if the 2020 season is able to get underway.
Taillon, meanwhile, resumed throwing after a “scheduled” break in his rehab process. The former No. 2 overall draft pick made good on his longstanding top prospect billing with a brilliant 2018 season (191 innings, 3.20 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9) but struggled in 2019 before landing on the shelf and ultimately undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery. Taillon, who won’t pitch in 2020 regardless of the season’s structure, remains under Pirates control through the 2022 season.
As for Holmes, the fractured foot he sustained in Spring Training has now healed in full. He’s in the process of ramping his throwing program back up and is slated to throw on a slope before week’s end. The 27-year-old had a miserable season both in the big leagues and the minors in 2019, but his 2018 campaign in Triple-A featured 95 1/3 innings of 3.40 ERA ball with 9.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a whopping 60 percent ground-ball rate. Holmes is out of minor league options, so he’ll likely be a part of the roster whenever play picks back up, giving the club an option at the back of the rotation or perhaps in a long relief capacity.