Potential injury issues already cropping up in the Pirate bullpen

Feb 14, 2024; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher David Bednar (51) works out at
Feb 14, 2024; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher David Bednar (51) works out at / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The bullpen is expected to be the strength of the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, but early season injuries may already be popping up in the bullpen

Entering the 2024 season the Pittsburgh Pirates could have one of the deepest, most talented bullpens in all of baseball. Both Dauri Moreta and David Bednar are projected to be key cogs in the bullpen, but both are now dealing with potential injury issues.

In November of 2022, the Pirates acquired Moreta from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for infielder Kevin Newman. In his first season with the Pirates, the righty was a key cog in the bullpen, posting a 3.72 ERA, 2.93 FIP, and a 31.8% strikeout rate in 58 innings pitched.

On the heels of his strong 2023 season, Moreta was expected to be a big piece of the Pirate bullpen this season. Well, following Sunday afternoon's Grapefruit League loss against the Baltimore Orioles Moreta's status is up in the air.

Moreta struggled with command in the loss, walking a pair of batters and allowing a home run. As you can see in the video linked here, Moreta was clearly dealing with some elbow discomfort during the appearance.

Following the game, Pirate manager Derek Shelton confirmed that Moreta had some elbow discomfort. Nothing more is known at this time, although Shelton said they may know more on Monday.

Regardless, elbow discomfort is never good for a pitcher. More times than not, it leads to Tommy John surgery, or some other major health issue that can cost a pitcher an extended period of time if not the entire season.

As for Bednar, Shelton told reporters that he is dealing with a lat issue and that the team will monitor it in the coming days.

Hopefully, Bednar's issue will be minor and he'll be ready to go for Opening Day. If not, everyone in the Pirate bullpen would move up a rung on the ladder with Aroldis Chapman presumably becoming the closer. This would be even more difficult to navigate if Moreta is out as well.

Again, hopefully, any news that comes about Moreta and Bednar in the next few days will be positive. Stay tuned here at Rum Bunter as we will ahve you covered on that front, as well as with all other news that comes out of Pirate camp as Spring Training carries on.

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