Pittsburgh Pirates: Injury Concerns in the Early Going

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are not even a full week into their 2018 season, and  there are already some injury concerns.  Here is what they are looking at:

One of the key variables that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to need to fall in their direction this season is the health of their players.  Last year, the team only won 75 games and a large part of that was due to many key players ending up on the disabled list.  Players like Gregory Polanco, Francisco Cervelli, Josh Harrison, and Jameson Taillon all spent significant time on the disabled list.  That was one of the key reasons why the 2017 team had trouble putting together any consistent baseball.

As many Pittsburgh Pirates fans and media members have already proclaimed, those key players need to stay healthy for this team to truly compete this season.  Already in the early going, one can see how productive hitters like Polanco and Cervelli can be when they are playing 100 percent healthy.  However, there have been some injuries after just a few games into their 2018 regular season schedule.

Joe Musgrove

Before yesterday’s game, it was announced that Joe Musgrove would miss his scheduled Thursday start.  He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his shoulder.  This sounds very similar to the injury that held him out of the first few weeks of Spring Training. The Pittsburgh Pirates made the move retroactive to March 30th, meaning he can be activated as soon as April 9th.  In a corresponding move, the Pittsburgh Pirates recalled hard-throwing pitching prospect Clay Holmes.  Holmes was brought up for Sunday’s doubleheader, but he did not see any time.  The Bucs will use Steven Brault as the spot starter, but Holmes will likely get to make his big league debut at some point this week.

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Jordy Mercer

During the home opener yesterday afternoon, Jordy Mercer exited early.  While on first base, a pickoff attempt led Mercer to dive back into the bag.  He lingered on the ground for a bit, and upon standing up was grimacing in some pain.  Mercer looked to be holding his pinky finger.  After seeing the replay a few times, it could be seen that Mercer jammed either his pinky or his pinky knuckle into first base. The injury occurred to his throwing hand.  He looked uncomfortable for a while, but stayed in the game and even made a throw the next inning.  However, the Pittsburgh Pirates elected to pull Mercer from the game early, most likely to get his finger looked at in more depth.  The x-rays came back negative and Mercer will be day-to-day according to the Tribune, which is a good sign for the veteran shortstop.