Chase d’Arnaud Heading to Altoona For the Next Step of Rehab; Thumb Feeling Good

Chase d'Arnaud is finished with his rehab in Bradenton. Photo by Mark Olson

Chase d’Arnaud is finished with his rehab in Bradenton. Photo by Mark Olson

Chase d’Arnaud spent the last two days with the Bradenton Marauders, starting his rehab from a thumb injury in Spring Training. D’Arnaud torn the ligament in his thumb back in March, and underwent surgery in the middle of the month. At the time it was recommended that he have surgery to make sure everything was put back in place.

“It’s a good thing that [the surgery] happened, because it ended up being completely torn once they opened me up,” d’Arnaud said of the procedure.

D’Arnaud is now back on the field, and officially on his rehab assignment. The assignment started on Thursday, and gives him up to 20 days before the Pirates have to activate him from the DL. That puts his eventual return from the DL no later than June 5th. D’Arnaud has options, so the Pirates could send him to Indianapolis when he’s ready. He could also provide a good short-term option off the bench, since he has done well against left-handers in his career, and the Pirates don’t have a lot of guys who have had success against lefties.

On Friday, d’Arnaud looked good, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a triple, and a stolen base. He was making a lot of plays happen with his speed. In his first at-bat he beat out an infield single to shortstop, then stole second base. In his second at-bat he lined one into right-field, then went from first to third when the ball got past the right-fielder, who made an ill-advised dive toward the low liner. D’Arnaud later drew a walk, and took second base on a wild throw from first after a pick off move. The play would have been close with a good throw. On the field, d’Arnaud looked sharp, with one diving stop, and another difficult play deep in the hole that just missed the runner at first.

“I feel really good,” d’Arnaud said after the game. “All the time that I put in this off-season is still paying off, even though I was slowed down by injury. I’m starting off with good plays and a good foundation. I feel pretty good right now.”

After his surgery, d’Arnaud took about three weeks before he could do anything involving strengthening his hand. He has a scar in the area between his thumb and index finger, which was sore to the touch at first. That made it hard to swing a bat, and d’Arnaud wore a ring around his finger to add some separation and avoid irritating the scar. The scar isn’t tender now, but he still wears the ring to avoid irritation.

“It was a gradual process, and every week we pushed a little further and pushed through the pain, and I guess that’s the only way to really get rid of scar tissue,” d’Arnaud said.

There was a brief set-back last week when he was hit in the wrist in an extended Spring Training game up in Tampa. After the bus ride back to Bradenton, d’Arnaud’s wrist was stiff. He had X-Rays, but it was determined that it was only a bruise.

His rehab time with Bradenton ended yesterday. D’Arnaud will now go to Altoona, where he will probably rehab for about a week.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • joe g.

    It is not a forgone conclusion that Mercer becomes the next SS in Pittsburgh. d’Arnaud is more athletic and brings speed to the table. If he hits well and improves on the defense he displayed when he played in Pittsburgh, he could very well end up being our next SS.

    • Lee Young

      If he hits well
      If he improves his defense.
      Two very big ifs. Btw, Chase was terrible in Pgh on defense, esp throwing. People sitting in the stands on the first base side feared for their lives when Chase made a throw.



      • joe g.

        Lee, I agree, but Chase was nowhere near ready for the bigs. At that time the Pirates lacked depth and he was needed. I like Mercer, but his athletic ability pales in comparison to d’Arnaud. I just think that the competition between the two will be stronger than some folks think.

        • ianmonk

          I agree, Chase is a incredible athlete. When/if he gets the opportunity and shows he can hit at the major league level, this will be a very tough decision for the front office to make.

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