Here are a few Pittsburgh Pirates minor league injury updates.
**Alex Dickerson has been activated from the Altoona disabled list and is in tonight’s game batting third. Dickerson has been on the DL for about a week with a concussion after being involved in a collision at first base.
**Barrett Barnes, who has been on the West Virginia DL with a hamstring injury, played a game at Pirate City this afternoon. Barnes had two hits — a single and a double off Jon Sandfort — and looked good running the bases. He’s played in about 4-5 games so far, and should be returning to West Virginia after a few more games.
**Ryan Beckman underwent Tommy John surgery last June, after going down with an elbow injury in his first start of the 2012 season with Altoona. He’s been throwing for about three weeks in games, and today was his first back-to-back outing. That should be his final appearance in extended Spring Training, and the next step will probably be to one of the full season teams.
Beckman had surgery a day before Charlie Morton underwent the same procedure, so the two recovered together, and after a four month break they also threw together in the first part of their rehab work. Beckman said he feels good now, and said his stuff has been feeling good.
“I’m really surprised at how well it felt,” Beckman said of his stuff. “Even back when me and Charlie first started playing catch after the four months that we took off, I was surprised at how a lot of people go ‘You’re not going to know where the ball is going, and that’s fine’ — but we seemed to play catch pretty easily.”
Eventually I’d expect Beckman to join Altoona, since that’s where he was last year. He could go to Bradenton first to ease back into games. He’s been working with his sinker/slider combo, and mixing in some changeups. Today the sinker was in the upper 80s and he had a quick 1-2-3 inning. In the past he’s gotten his sinker up to the low 90s, which is impressive since his sinker also has a lot of movement coming from a sidearm delivery.