Coming out of Spring Training, both Jaff Decker and Chris Stewart had nagging leg injuries. Stewart was bogged down with a hamstring ailment, while Decker was suffering from a calf issue.
Stewart progressed his rehab assignment to Indianapolis on Sunday, joining Decker, who started the season there. Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was extremely excited about what Decker showed on the offensive end on Saturday. He also noted that Sunday’s day off was not a set back and was simply protocol.
“Decker really swung the bat well two nights ago,” Treanor said. “His program was to give him yesterday off, but it would have been nice to run him back out there the way that he was swinging the bat the night before.”
With the calf injury, defensive range also comes into question. Treanor said that he looks just fine in that regard.
“He is moving very well in the outfield,” Treanor said. “Two nights ago he had to go to his left, right, and back to get some balls and it looked like everything was fine. He is on the right track.”
After his first game, Treanor was pleased with Stewart’s progression as well.
“Stewart, yesterday, I thought did a really phenomenal job behind the plate with [Wilfredo] Boscan and the bullpen that came in,” Treanor said. “He had a plan, felt out the hitters, and you could tell that it was big league fingers back there behind the plate. He also swung the bat well.”
Stewart picked up a pair of singles in four at-bats on Sunday.
Along with the progression in success, Stewart also caught the entire game yesterday. Treanor said that he will have Monday off and then catch both Tuesday and Wednesday. Stewart will then be re-evaluated after his reaction to back-to-back days in the lineup.
Activation for both players will create interesting situations. For Decker, it may mean being optioned right back to Indianapolis, as the Pirates outfield is jam-packed. For Stewart, the decision will likely be about Tony Sanchez. After a solid Spring and a decent start in Pittsburgh, Sanchez could very well be the odd man out, as he still has options.