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Cervelli starts baseball work, feels 'much better'

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli, on the disabled list with post-concussion symptoms, is back to participating in baseball activities.

Cervelli took batting practice on the field and caught Ivan Nova's bullpen session before Friday's series opener against the Giants at PNC Park. After the workout, Cervelli reported he was feeling "much better" than last week, when he was placed on the disabled list for the second time this month.

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PITTSBURGH -- Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli, on the disabled list with post-concussion symptoms, is back to participating in baseball activities.

Cervelli took batting practice on the field and caught Ivan Nova's bullpen session before Friday's series opener against the Giants at PNC Park. After the workout, Cervelli reported he was feeling "much better" than last week, when he was placed on the disabled list for the second time this month.

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"Basically normal activities," Cervelli said. "Just keep working and building. I'll follow the trainers and doctors, that's it."

Cervelli's case is complicated. He has been dealing with sinus issues and fevers since April, and he said those symptoms were aggravated by a long, rainy night in Atlanta on May 23.

On June 6, Cervelli sustained a concussion when he was hit in the mask by a foul ball. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list the following day and returned exactly a week later. He played in four games before returning to the DL on June 22, retroactive to June 20, with post-concussion symptoms.

Cervelli said he experienced fevers, dizziness and headaches -- "a little bit of everything," he added -- but it was unclear if the symptoms were related to his concussion or a flare-up of the chronic viral condition.

"It's weird, man," Cervelli said. "It's a little frustrating. But I cannot concentrate on the problem. I've got to concentrate on the solution. So we've got to move forward and get better.

"I'm getting there, and I'm looking forward to feeling 100 percent," he added. "I'm looking forward to getting back to help the team win the division. That's the goal."

Around the horn

• Infielder Jason Rogers was released by the Pirates on Friday and intends to sign with a Japanese club, Triple-A Indianapolis announced. Rogers was the Pirates' lone return in a December 2015 trade that sent outfielder Keon Broxton and pitching prospect Trey Supak to the Brewers.

Rogers didn't pan out for the Pirates, going 2-for-25 in 23 games last season. He was removed from the 40-man roster last offseason, invited to Spring Training and assigned to Indianapolis, where he slashed .289/.362/.439 in 69 games. Broxton has an .810 OPS for Milwaukee this season, and Supak owns a 3.82 ERA across two Class A levels.

• There was some fallout from Rogers' release. Outfielder Jordan Luplow, the Pirates' No. 30 prospect, was promoted to Triple-A and Logan Hill to Double-A Altoona. The Bucs also promoted right-hander Brandon Cumpton to Double-A. Cumpton pitched for the Pirates in 2013-14 before undergoing Tommy John and shoulder surgeries and beginning a long road back.

• Left-hander Steven Brault, the Bucs' No. 8 prospect, continues to impress in Indianapolis. Brault struck out nine over eight scoreless innings Thursday night, lowering his ERA to 2.04 in 16 outings. Brault was one of three Pirates players named to the Triple-A All-Star Game, joining right-hander Drew Hutchison and utility man Chris Bostick.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Francisco Cervelli