While the MLB season continues to be under delay, the injured Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers are rehabbing from previous injuries.
Before the delay of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a handful of pitchers who were set to start the year off on the injured list. However, it seems most have made progress in their rehab from the injuries. Director of sports medicine, Todd Tomczyk, had the following to say according to Adam Berry:
Jameson Taillon has already begun throwing, which is a big step in recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Taillon had to undergo the surgery late last season in August. This was a huge blow to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitching staff. Taillon had already missed most of 2019 when they were informed of the former prospect needing to undergo a second career Tommy John Surgery. He pitched in his last game on May 1st of last season.
Taillon was the team’s ace in 2018 and appeared to budding into one of the top starting pitchers in the National League. In 191 innings, the right hander posted a 3.20 ERA, 3.46 FIP, and 1.18 WHIP. He had only walked 5.9% of all the batters he faced, while striking them out at a 22.8% rate. Taillon had also posted a strong groundball rate at 46.2%. He had a SIERA of 3.77 and a 3.41 DRA through the course of the season. Taillon’s 3.2 fWAR finished 19th in the MLB among pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched.
Steven Brault entered Spring Training competing for the 5th rotation spot in Pirates’ camp. The lefty saw a fair amount of time out of the rotation last season, starting 19 of the 25 games he played in. Despite the overall lackluster results Brault posted, he did have a 63 inning hot streak where his ERA dipped below 3, had a 3.35 FIP, and held his opponent OPS only reached .679.
The lefty only got 2.1 innings this spring before being shutdown with strained shoulder muscles. It was evident something was wrong, as he surrendered four hits and 2 earned runs in his short Spring Training. If he did not win the final spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation, odds are, he would have earned a bullpen spot. Now, it appears he will be ready for Opening Day.
Clay Holmes is seen as one of the Pirates best breakout candidates. Despite his high walk rate, Holmes struck out 23.3% of all the batters he faced, and finished 2019 with a 10.08 K/9. He also induced ground balls at a strong 60.3% rate. According to DRA, he was only deserving of a 4.16, which is understandable given his only weak spot was walks. However, Holmes can blame his fastball for his lack of control, as 37.9%, or nearly 14 of his 36 walks, came from his fastball.
Holmes was having a strong Spring Training. In 2.1 innings, he had struck out one batter, did not walk any batters, hit a batter, and did not allow a hit. However, Holmes suffered a fractured foot after taking a line drive off the foot from Twins’ slugger Nelson Cruz. Like Brault, it now appears that Holmes will be ready for Opening Day.