BRADENTON, Fla. – Nick Kingham is expected to be one of the biggest depth options for the Pirates’ rotation in the second half of the season. The right-hander is returning from Tommy John surgery, pitching in his first full season since the injury. But the start of his season will be delayed, as he will start the year on the disabled list with an ankle injury.

Kingham tweaked his ankle last week in a start. He has been getting it treated since then, but needed to skip a start.

“During one of the starts it just popped and didn’t feel very good, so we’re just treating it right now,” Kingham said.

He’s not sure of his exact timeline to return, but he expects to throw a bullpen soon. He was only up to three innings before the injury, so when he returns, he will need to get built back up.

That build-up could take some time. If he were to return next week and get back to three innings of work right away, he wouldn’t be up to a full start until mid-to-late April. The general rehab period for pitchers is 30 days from their first appearance, since that is usually how long it will take to get built up to a full start, pitching every five days and adding an inning each time out.

The silver lining to this is that the Pirates won’t have to worry about limiting Kingham’s innings this year like they did with Jameson Taillon last year. They skipped a few starts for Taillon, pulled him earlier in games at the start of the year, and pitched him on extended rest at some periods in time. That might not be necessary for Kingham, especially if he misses most of the month of April.

We will have coverage of Kingham’s injury and more updates on his potential return date to Indianapolis when he begins his rehab process in extended Spring Training.

Other Injury Updates

**Barrett Barnes is out with a hamstring strain. He told me that he expects to start his rehab in about ten days, and hopes to be playing in Indianapolis sometime around mid-to-late April.

**Jin-De Jhang will miss the start of the season with a right oblique injury, which he hurt in big league camp on a swing. He told me that he’s expected to miss about 4-6 more weeks, before returning to Altoona. He has already resumed receiving, and will start throwing this week. He’s not sure when he will resume swings, but is aiming to be playing in games by the end of April.

**Adrian Valerio has been out for a little over a week with a broken bone in his hand after getting hit by a pitch. He is in a hand cast right now, and expects to be back anywhere from late April to mid-May on his original 5-8 week recovery period. He will go to West Virginia when he returns.

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  1. I thought Barrett Barnes said last year he had learned how to take care of his body. We’ve just read the reports on hamstring injuries and hydration. This kid might have been knocking on the door more seriously had he been able to stay healthy through his career.

  2. Barnes can’t seem to get through a single season, without having some type of injury that keeps him out for a month or more….he had a great season last year, but the clock is ticking for him…he’s 25/26 now? He would be useful as a 4th outfielder and PH off the bench, although he is not a gifted defensive player – average at best. But, the kid can hit when healthy….

  3. I need some information regarding all the non-pitcher international signings that are going to make the top 4 minor league teams this year. What are they up to? Will any of those players be on those teams and if so what should we expect?

    • I won’t speak to what they are up to but I’d say that list includes

      Jose Osuna (unless he is in the MLB)
      Elias Diaz
      Gift Ngoepe
      Edwin Espinal
      Jin-De Jhang (when healthy)
      Pablo Reyes
      Elvis Escobar
      Carlos Munoz
      Daniel Arribas
      Adrian Valerio (when healthy)
      Victor Fernandez
      Sandy Santos

      Tomas Morales and Raul Hernandez will probably play in the full season leagues too filling in at levels that need catchers.

      • We have the rosters, though last minutes changes are possible and Indianapolis will still get some players. Their roster has just 23 players currently and teams usually have 26-27 players, when you include the 1-2 extras they keep around. We will post previews for each team soon.

        • Hey no holding out on us. The initial minor league rosters are one of the things I look forward to the most when it comes to following the Pirates’ minor league system.

          • You’ll get them soon enough, it takes time to put together team previews. As we saw this morning with Schugel going to Indianapolis, they can and will still change.

    • Yes, they are on the minor league DL, which is basically the same as being assigned to Extended Spring Training at this point. A minor league player can be injured and not show up on a minor league DL if they haven’t been assigned to a club. Not sure if you’re asking about Barnes or Jhang because they were hurt during MLB camp, but the MLB DL only applies to 40-man roster players with no service time who weren’t sent down before the deadline, which passed last week. If Glasnow, Trevor Williams or Osuna got hurt tomorrow, even if the Pirates had no intentions of keeping 1-2 of them for Opening Day, they would still need to be placed on the MLB DL.

        • MLB has a deadline during Spring Training to send players to the minors, who are on the 40-man roster and have zero service time. If they decide to keep the players around longer, like they did with Jose Osuna, then they risk that player getting hurt and going on the DL. That would result in them picking up service time and getting MLB pay. Kingham has zero service time and he was one of the first players sent down, well before the deadline. He goes on the minor league DL.

          You could use Kingham for an example to remember it. He was injured last spring, still recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was optioned to the minors early in spring and didn’t pitch until late June. He still has zero service time because he went on the minor league DL.

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