Bryan Reynolds was replaced for a pinch-hitter prior to his at-bat in the seventh inning of the Pirates’ 8-6 win over the Brewers today. The Pirates later announced that Reynolds was day-to-day after experiencing discomfort in his right side.
While more testing will eventually reveal the severity of the injury, the worst-case scenario would be an oblique strain. Even a lower-level oblique issue would require a trip to the injured list for Reynolds, and a higher-grade strain could put the outfielder’s season in jeopardy.
It took Reynolds about six weeks to really get going this season, but he has recovered from that slow start to become one of baseball’s hotter hitters. Entering today’s action, Reynolds had hit .306/.373/.567 with 10 home runs in his last 177 plate appearances, a stretch that has brought his overall slash line a lot closer to his breakout numbers from 2021.
The Pirates aren’t in the postseason race, and will again be looking to move pieces at the trade deadline as the club continues its rebuild. While the Bucs were never planning to contend this year, banking a few more victories and making a little progress in the win-loss column would’ve provided a bit more evidence that the team is indeed heading in the right direction. Losing Reynolds for an extended period of time, however, would certainly put an end to that hope.
An injury would also likely end any chance that Reynolds himself would be dealt before the deadline. There hasn’t been much expectation that Pittsburgh would actually move Reynolds elsewhere before August 2, since while Reynolds has been a fixture in trade rumors for over a year now, the Bucs are known to have a gigantic asking price in any deal. Between Reynolds’ ability and his team control (arbitration-eligible through the 2025 season), it isn’t surprising that the Pirates would need a ton to deal away a player who might still a factor once the Bucs start to focus on winning.
David Bednar is another Pirates star often mentioned as a trade candidate in theory, even if the team has resisted overtures. In fact, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that “the Pirates are emphatically telling teams” that Bednar isn’t available. While a blow-away offer would probably change Pittsburgh’s mind, just like with Reynolds, it would take such a huge offer to facilitate a trade. Bednar was named to his first All-Star team earlier today, on the heels of his 2.63 ERA, 15 saves, and outstanding secondary numbers over 41 innings as the Bucs’ closer.