Pirate director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk met with the media for the first time this spring on Wednesday. What did he have to say to the media?
Wednesday after Pittsburgh Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk met with the media for the first time this spring. During his meeting with the media, Tomczyk had updates on four Pirate players. The most notable of which was Termarr Johnson.
Johnson was selected 4th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in last summer's MLB Draft. Making his debut with Low-A Bradenton last summer, Johnson hit for a .275/.396/.450 slash line with a 139 wRC+ in 53 plate appearances. Watching Johnson this spring was going to be exciting for Pirate fans. Unfortunately, with him set to miss all baseball activities 10-14 days, the odds of Pirate fans seeing Johnson in Grapefruit League games are likely close to zero.
Neither Kranick nor Cederlind entered the spring in position to crack the team's Opening Day roster. Kranick is returning from Tommy John surgery that he had last summer. Seeing Kranick throwing from 65-70 feet multiple times per week is a huge step in the right direction for him.
As for Cederlind, he missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery. This led to him being taken off the 40-man roster earlier this offseason. Now that he is a full go, this puts him in a position to log some valuable innings this spring before starting the season in the bullpen at Triple-A Indianapolis.
If there is any injury that could impact the Opening Day roster it's Stephenson. Following his strong showing with the Pirates last September, Stephenson appeard to be entering the spring with a bullpen spot locked down. Esepcially since he is also out of minor league options.
However, elbow discomfort could change that. It is certainly possible that this could lead to Stephenson starting the season on the injured list. If this were to happen, it would change not only the pitchers who make the team's Opening Day bullpen but also what roles pitchers will have out of the bullpen.