Earlier today I reported that Chris Stewart is hoping to play his first game on Friday down in extended Spring Training, along with an update on his rehab progress. Here are some updates from other players who are currently in extended Spring Training down in Bradenton.
**Stetson Allie is close to finishing his rehab and heading out to join the Altoona Curve. Allie was held back in extended Spring Training due to his oblique injury. He returned to game action before the end of Spring Training, but wasn’t to a point where he could play a full nine innings. Since that point he has gradually increased his innings. He played three innings in two games, then five innings in two games, followed by seven innings in two games. The final step would be two full games, and he has one remaining. Allie could be heading to Altoona by the end of the week. He said that everything feels great as far as his recovery.
**Kyle McPherson is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has been throwing bullpens for three weeks now, and has a few more weeks of bullpen sessions. At that point he will start progressing to live batting practice and sim games.
McPherson originally started feeling the symptoms in his elbow last Spring Training.
“I could throw a game, and feel good for the first inning or so, and then go downhill pretty rapidly,” McPherson said. “And then a couple days off of light throwing, and it would start to feel good.”
He went to extended Spring Training last year after having Platelet Rich Plasma injections in his elbow. He didn’t see improvement after the treatment, and by mid-June he felt the elbow pop again and ended up needing surgery.
If all goes well with his rehab, McPherson could return to the Indianapolis rotation in the second half of the season, and could be a depth option for the Pirates at that point.
**The Pirates acquired Vance Worley from the Minnesota Twins at the end of Spring Training. Prior to the trade, the Twins had outrighted Worley off their 40-man roster, and sent him to minor league camp. They told him to go to the bullpen, where they liked him better as a set up man. Worley threw one inning as a reliever before being traded to the Pirates, who liked him as a starter. He’s currently in extended Spring Training getting stretched out, and will join Indianapolis when he’s ready.
**Austin Meadows has been out since the start of Spring Training with a hamstring injury. He still hasn’t played in any games yet.
**Dan Gamache got hurt in the middle of Spring Training after hitting a foul ball off his right foot. X-Rays showed that it was a fracture, and he has been on crutches ever since. He will go for X-Rays again on Friday, and will learn more about the recovery time after that. Gamache is slated to rotate between second and third base in Altoona when he returns.
**Jason Townsend has been out of action with a small labrum tear. He discovered the tear early in Spring Training, and was shut down for the duration of camp.
“I had the MRI the first week down here, because I knew something wasn’t right,” Townsend said.
No surgery was needed, and he started immediately on his rehab, which included no throwing for a month. He started throwing again last Friday, and today was day three of his throwing program. He’s currently throwing from 60 feet, and will be on a throwing program and rehab assignment for two months. Townsend said he’s currently not experiencing any soreness from the injury. I’d expect him to join the Altoona bullpen when he’s eligible to return, probably pitching in the late innings.