Pittsburgh Pirates: Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall Hurt

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates needed to sign a new outfielder this offseason.  However, the outfielder they signed has gone down with an injury.

Last year, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco seemed to be figuring things out at the plate.  He backed off the plate and found much more success during the final two-thirds of the season.  However, during a game, Polanco tried to slide and ended up landing awkwardly and tore his labrum in his shoulder.

Torn labrums are a tough injury and require a good amount of length for baseball players to recover from it.  The injury normally takes about eight-to-ten months to recover from.  So with that said, Polanco is not expected to get back to playing until May or June.

With that time frame, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to find an outfielder who could serve in an everyday role comfortably.  Last year, Adam Frazier, an infielder by trade, was the team’s primary outfielder.  Frazier is now the team’s starting second baseman, thus leaving not only an opening right field spot for the first few months of the season, but also a fourth outfield bench role.

Well, the Pittsburgh Pirates were aggressive in finding a new outfielder.  The team signed former Cleveland Indians third base and outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall.  Chisenahll has had a productive career but has had trouble staying healthy.  Still, the team gave him a one-year contract for $2.25 million dollars with incentives, a contract that is very low-risk.

The team also signed a veteran outfielder and MLB journeymen Melky Cabrera.  It made sense at the time, he hit well last season, and even with the Chisenhall signing, the Pittsburgh Pirates still needed a fourth outfielder for the start of the season.  Cabrera is a switch hitter too, giving Clint Hurdle a nice versatile piece on the bench.

Well, it’s a good thing they did sign Cabrera because just two weeks into spring training outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall is injured.  Chisenhall left yesterday’s game with a somewhat undisclosed injury.  Apparently, the injury is a lower body one.  This is concerning as he spent most of last season on the disabled list with a nagging hamstring injury.  Here is the update on Chisehall from Rob Biertempfel on Twitter:

"OF Lonnie Chisenhall left today’s game due to what the #Pirates described as “general lower extremity tightness.”"

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This does not seem anything more than just the team being cautious with their new outfielder.  However, with nagging issues last year, this is definitely something that the team has to monitor and play safe.