Latest Pittsburgh Pirates Injury Updates
Pittsburgh Pirates Injury Updates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing very good baseball right now. At 40-28, they are still only in third place in the National League Central. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds sit in front of them in first and second place respectively. Starting on Monday, the Pirates will begin a series in Cincinnati against the Reds that will be very important, even if it is only June.
Something that didn’t happen very often in 2012 is becoming a frequent problem in 2013: injuries. So far in 2013, the Pirates starting rotation has been eaten alive by the dreaded injury bug. The Pirates are down to the 13th pitcher on their depth chart. A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke, James McDonald, Phil Irwin, Gerrit Cole, Brandon Cumpton, Charlie Morton, Jeanmar Gomez and Jonathan Sanchez have all started games for the Pirates this season. Jeff Karstens and Kyle McPherson have been on the disabled list all season.
If the Pirates wish to continue their success and hopefully stay in contention all season and eventually make the postseason, they will need to see the injuries stop happening. The luck the Pirates have been having with average pitchers pitching well will surely come to an end at some point. Guys like Gomez, Cumpton and Morton aren’t going to be able to continue pitching like very good MLB pitchers.
If the Pirates can’t get all of their injured players back by the trade deadline, I think it will be important for them to make a big trade to bolster the team. This is the year the Pirates have to be all-in.
Jose Tabata has been on the disabled list since late May with an oblique injury. He is expected to begin rehabbing in a week or two. It will be important to get him back so he can return to his platoon with Travis Snider in right field.
Who could have guessed in Spring Training that losing Jeanmar Gomez to an injury would be a major blow to the Pirates? Truly, it hasn't, but he was pitching very well before his injury. For almost any other team, it would have been a problem, but the Pirates' pitching has been so good that it hasn't hurt one bit. Gomez has been rehabbing in the minor leagues, but no one knows when he will be able to return.
Wandy Rodriguez has had injury issues throughout 2013, missing a couple starts already. He is on the disabled list right now with forearm tightness. He hasn't began a rehab assignment yet, so he isn't close to returning.
James McDonald has been on the disabled list for a while now. He was originally placed on the DL with a sore shoulder. He has been rehabbing in the minor leagues, and shouldn't be too far from returning. The question is, will he return to the Pirates, or some other team? Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was very candid when asked about McDonald today. It sounded like McDonald's future with the Pirates is very cloudy.
Perhaps the most important injury to the Pirates has been the injury to A.J. Burnett. The leader of the clubhouse, Burnett is not only a great player on the field, but he is a great teammate. He is on the DL with a grade one tear in his right calf. He was placed on the DL earlier this week, so he is nowhere near a return.