Moran (left wrist) needs another IL stint

Bucs first baseman has fractured pisiform bone; Bednar on brother's CWS title

July 2nd, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The bad luck continued for , who was placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday (retroactive to June 29) with a left wrist injury.

The Pirates originally said imaging came back clear on Moran’s hand and wrist area after he was hit by a pitch during Monday’s game in Colorado. However, as the swelling subsided, further imaging revealed a small fracture to his left pisiform bone, which is situated at the outer half of the base of his hand.

“We had some more imaging done today, we had a CT scan, and we saw a small fracture in his hand,” manager Derek Shelton said.

Though it’s a bone fracture, the Pirates are hopeful Moran will avoid any need for surgery. The pisiform is a highly vascularized bone, meaning it has a lot of blood vessels and, therefore, usually heals and strengthens on its own better than many other bones.

Moran has had a run of bad injury luck this season. Most recently, he sustained a bout of lower back tightness while running the bases on June 13, which kept him out of starting reps for five games. Moran also missed nearly a month due to a left groin strain he incurred on a diving play in Chicago on May 8.

The early returns before the groin injury pointed to a good first half for Moran, who had an .820 OPS in 33 games. However, with inconsistent playing time due to health, he hasn’t had the same consistency in the lineup, and his production dipped slightly in recent weeks.

The Pirates recalled outfielder Jared Oliva, ranked as the club’s No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline, to fill Moran’s spot on the active roster. Shelton said an outfielder made the most sense to replace Moran, because super utilityman Phillip Evans will need to spend time at first instead of the outfield.

“Just with him being on the roster, it's the easiest move for us to make,” Shelton said. “The versatility of the outfield spots helps us out a little bit.”

However, the Bucs may need further reinforcements at first base, as Erik González -- the starting first baseman in Thursday’s 7-2 loss -- exited in the seventh inning with right side tightness. He is day to day, but a trip to the injured list would likely require a move for some infield reinforcements. Outfielder Ben Gamel, who has never started at first base, replaced González on defense.

Bednar brings home CWS title

As the Pirates’ game against the Rockies ended on Wednesday and the team prepared to head back to Pittsburgh for a homestand, the biggest game in collegiate baseball was starting up: Game 3 of the College World Series finals.

Starring in it was Bucs reliever David Bednar’s younger brother, Will, who started for Mississippi State against Vanderbilt. David made sure the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field played the first two innings, then he watched the third and fourth on his phone as the team drove to the airport.

David had no problem seeing the rest of his brother Will’s six no-hit innings to power a 9-0 title-clinching win on the flight.

“I turned just about every single TV on the seats in front of me on the flight to the game,” David said.

Will, the No. 32 MLB Draft prospect per MLB Pipeline, was also named the tournament’s most outstanding player, having allowed only three runs over 18 1/3 innings pitched (three starts) with 26 strikeouts, including 15 in six innings against Texas in his first start of the College World Series.

Even with former Mississippi State standouts Adam Frazier and Chris Stratton on the Pirates, David was arguably the most vocal fan during the tournament. When asked how many times he’s yelled “Go Dawgs!” over the past week, he admitted, “I've honestly stopped keeping track. I've been wearing everybody out.”

But as he watched Will jog around the stadium at Omaha, which Shelton said “looked like Starkville” with all the maroon in the stands, David admitted it was a surreal moment, and he couldn’t be a prouder big brother.

“Unbelievable. I still don’t really have words for it, honestly,” David said. “I was kind of smiling ear to ear the whole flight, really. There’s no other way to put it. Unreal. I’m so happy for him and his whole team.”