The Pittsburgh Pirates gave injury updates to the local media today on nine players via Todd Tomczyk, their Director of Sports Medicine. Adam Berry from MLB.com has the details here, starting with Gregory Polanco:
-Jason Martin (shoulder) might be a little behind heading into the spring, but rehab is going well.
-Archer, Bell and Marte are all healthy after their late-season injuries.
-No setbacks for Kuhl or Santana.
-They're "cautiously optimistic" Nick Burdi will be ready for spring.
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) December 16, 2019
A quick summary of the notes shows that Chris Archer, Josh Bell and Starling Marte are all fine after minor injuries late in the year. Chad Kuhl and Edgar Santana are returning nicely from their Tommy John surgery, which happened 14 months ago for both of them.
The news on Polanco is encouraging, as he is throwing from 120 feet already and they expect no restrictions going into Spring Training, which is almost exactly two months from now. So he has plenty of time still to return to full strength.
The update on Taillon is that he’s coming along great, but he’s still not expected to pitch at all in 2020. Since it was his second Tommy John surgery, the return period is longer. He had the surgery four months ago.
The last two updates on Jason Martin and Nick Burdi aren’t as positive as the first seven, though there is still a chance that they are healthy by Spring Training. Martin could be slightly behind going into Spring Training after undergoing shoulder surgery two months ago. The recovery timeline initially said that he could be 100% by the start of Spring Training under the best case scenario. The report today makes it sound like that won’t be the case.
Tomczyk said that the Pirates are cautiously optimistic about Nick Burdi right now. The initial reports after his late June surgery said that he was projected to be fully ready for the start of Spring Training. With the amount of injuries he has had over the years, it’s probably best to be cautious with his return.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.