Josh Harrison to Begin Rehab Assignment on Monday
By Marty Leap
With a 23-17 record, the Pittsburgh Pirates are currently tied for first place in the National League Central Division and they are about to get better as they are on the brink of getting their starting second baseman back.
On April 15th, Josh Harrison got hit in the hand with a pitch against the Miami Marlins. With this hit by pitch, Harrison fractured a metacarpal bone in his hand and the Pirates lost their starting second baseman to the disabled list.
After partaking in baseball activities for the past week, Harrison is now set to begin a rehab assignment. On Monday, Harrison will suit up for the Double-A Altoona Curve as he begins his minor league rehab assignment. As a side note, Nick Kingham will start for the Curve on Monday before returning to the Pirate rotation on Saturday against the San Diego Padres.
Prior to his injury Harrison owned a .263/.328/.351/.679 slash line with a .302 wOBA and a wRC+ of 90. As is the norm with Harrison, his real value came defensively. Harrison owned a 34.5 UZR/150, he was responsible for two defensive runs saved (DRS), and he owned a 1.3 dWAR.
With Harrison out, the second base position has struggled for the Pirates. Adam Frazier and Sean Rodriguez have gotten a majority of the starts at second base with Harrison out. Frazier entered play on Sunday with just a .288 on-base percentage, .284 slugging percentage, .259 wOBA, and a 61 wRC+ since Harrison got hurt, to go along with a -27.3 UZR/150 and a woeful .951 fielding percentage at second base.
As for Rodriguez, he entered Saturday with a .294 on-base percentage, .326 slugging percentage, .282 wOBA, and a 77 wRC+ post-Harrison injury. Although, he’s played a strong defensive second base with a +1 DRS and a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Next: Musgrove Continues to Dominate in Rehab Starts
In his weekly meeting with the media on Sunday, Pirate General Manager Neal Huntington discussed where Harrison is at right now. “Josh is doing well. He kept his legs going, really, from the day of the injury and was able to keep his arm going almost from the day of the injury,” he said.
The Pirates also confirmed on Sunday that Harrison would return to the leadoff spot when he is back with the team. While this is a mistake, as the leadoff spot should belong to Francisco Cervelli, that is a discussion for another time.