Austin Meadows Has Surgery For Orbital Fracture, Out 6-8 Weeks

BRADENTON, Fla. – Austin Meadows had surgery to repair an orbital fracture on Thursday, the Pirates announced today. Meadows will be out for 6-8 weeks after the procedure.┬áThis would mean that Meadows won’t make his 2016 debut in Altoona until around early to mid May.

Missing the first month of the season isn’t a huge blow for the young outfielder, as the Pirates have all the time in the world to develop him. They have Andrew McCutchen under control through the 2018 season, and have Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte under control beyond 2018. So Meadows could spend the next three seasons in the upper levels of the minors, and he wouldn’t be needed as a starter until 2019.

He could be used as depth prior to that, in the event of an injury, but that’s not happening this year. The earliest that might happen would be the middle of next season, after he has some time in Triple-A. One month isn’t going to impact that timeline.

This is an unfortunate situation for Meadows, as you never want to see anyone get injured. The good news is that it won’t impact his future with the Pirates at all.

  • Michael Sanders
    March 19, 2016 2:33 pm

    I feel bad for Austin. I had the same thing happen to me in High School. It was a brand new ball and actually left the red ink mark around the eye.

  • On the one hand Meadows has to be feeling unlucky to suffer such a freak injury, but on the other he should be feeling grateful it wasn’t worse. Eyesight to a hitter is like oxygen to a scuba diver. Won’t last long without it.

    Hoping and praying for a full recovery for his benefit and the organizations, too.

  • Also, with all of these OF and SP prospects and a gap in MLB SP this year, I was curious about PP’s reader’s feelings on a purely hypothetical trade:
    If we could get a legit #3 starter with say 2-3 years on his contract, would you be willing to trade:
    1. Glasnow
    2. Taillon
    3. Meadows
    4. Ramirez
    5. A NGT (Kuhl, Brault, or Williams)

    • No, No, No, depends on the rest of the package

    • No to all. I was very interested in signing a FA at no cost of prospects for a #3. But the market price for same escalated out of reach. I am content to wait for Taillon to be ready mid season. If Taillon hadn’t pulled a hernia last Summer Happ would never have been obtained, nor Vogelsong last winter. We would be talking about how we expect #3 performance out of Taillon. Now is the time to be patient. Taillon will come up this year. Glasnow maybe in September, definitely next year. There is no need to panic. Better to hold on to the prospects to guard against injury or decline in the MLB roster.

    • Someone in 5 sure i guess. Everyone else no. Too much for a low revenue team to give up considering the salaries and years of control.

    • A legit #3 for a legit future Ace? No. A legit #3 for a legit #3 with Ace stuff? No. A legit #3 for a future OF anchor? No. Maybe Ramirez or the final
      Group could go… But I’d say no. Honestly it’s because I don’t think we need one.

    • The top 3 would be untouchables for me at this point in time. A franchise would be shortsighted to trade away a potential Ace or all-star caliber OFer with 6+ years of control for 2-3 years of an above average proven SP.

      I’d certainly listen for a deal involving the others you mentioned though. Have to package several of those to interest a team willing to part ways with a legit #3 w several years of control. As such, I just don’t see NH making this type of deal.

  • I think there are three OFs who should be feeling some pressure this year:
    1. Polanco needs to prove he deserves to be mentioned along with Cutch and Marte as the best OF in baseball
    2. Garcia is trapped in between the above best OF in baseball and the best OF in AA. If the AA OFs progress as expected, he might soon be viewed as a failed prospect
    3. Barnes is the forgotten man in AA. I think he could be better than both Garcia (in AAA) and Ramirez (in AA), but he needs to step up before he is left behind.

    • I hope Barnes is not better than
      H. Ramirez.
      That would mean neither one will be
      a MLB starting OF.

      • HaHa! Unfortunately, I think Ramirez is the reincarnation of Tabata – a singles hitter that will quickly lose his speed. I also think that Barnes has been downgraded due to his injuries those first two plus years. If things break correctly for him, he could be a decent fielding centerfielder, with power, good average, and some speed.

    • 1. I think Polanco’s doing just about enough right now…would love to see more and hope for it, but if he ups his game just a tad, he’s a 3 WAR RF. That’s pretty strong.

      2. Barring injury, Garcia is not much more than trade bait…someone will bite on his power potential and arm. If he’s playing well in July and the Pirates are in contention, he’s packaged for something.

      3. Barnes is a few months short of 25 and has < 150 AA PAs. I loved the kid when the Pirates got him, but 158 games/3 years has pretty much made him an afterthought in the organization.

  • So, I guess we’ll see him around Memorial Day?

    • You would hope not, since Memorial Day is ten weeks from this upcoming Monday and the longer estimate for his return is 2 1/2 weeks sooner than that.

  • Interesting decision upcoming in June 2017 if none of the outfielders get hurt, and all 3 are producing…and that is counting Ramirez, too.