Ke'Bryan Hayes pulled from Pirates' lineup with lower back tightness

The Pirates' third baseman has had numerous run-ins with the injury bug during his young career.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Ke'Bryan Hayes was pulled from the Pirates' lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Mets, the team announced. According to Noah Hiles of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hayes is dealing with lower back tightness:

Jared Triolo, who primarily played third base in the minor leagues, will slide back over to his natural position tonight in Hayes' absence. Tuesday was originally supposed to be an off day for Oneil Cruz against a left-hander, former Pirate Jose Quintana.

Hayes is off to a fairly strong start offensively, slashing .277/.392/.354, good for a 113 wRC+. That mark ranks seventh among all qualified third basemen in 2024, and his 0.4 fWAR ranks sixth. He's been a productive player so far despite being atop this unfortunate leaderboard:

This is not the first - or second - time in Hayes' MLB career that he has dealt with a back issue. His 2022 season ended prematurely due to back soreness that he later said had plagued him throughout the entire season. Hayes appeared in 136 games in 2022 but posted a career-worst .659 OPS. Lower back inflammation robbed Hayes of all but one game in July 2023, but his return to health was the key to salvaging his season. After being activated off of the IL on Aug. 2, Hayes hit .299 and slugged .539.

Manager Derek Shelton noted that Hayes' removal from the lineup was done out of an abundance of caution, so it isn't clear yet whether or not Hayes will miss extended time, although his prior injury history isn't promising. Should that be the case, Triolo would likely get the lion's share of the reps at the hot corner with one of Liover Peguero, Nick Gonzales, or Ji Hwan Bae being recalled and taking over at second base.