CHICAGO -- Josh Harrison only had a few minutes to talk Wednesday morning. He needed to be out on the field at 10:30 a.m., standing in the bullpen to track pitches from Chad Kuhl, immediately after providing an update on his recovery from a left hand fracture. Anything to stay
CHICAGO -- Josh Harrison only had a few minutes to talk Wednesday morning. He needed to be out on the field at 10:30 a.m., standing in the bullpen to track pitches from Chad Kuhl, immediately after providing an update on his recovery from a left hand fracture. Anything to stay busy.
Fortunately, Harrison has entered a busier phase of his rehabilitation. It's been 3 1/2 weeks since he was hit by a pitch and injured, and he has intensified his workouts over the past week. Harrison is fielding ground balls, taking swings in the batting cage and doing "pretty much everything but game-speed stuff," he said.
The next step may come sooner than later, as Harrison is set to meet with doctors in Pittsburgh on Friday. The club's medical staff will re-examine Harrison's left hand and map out a plan for the next stage of his rehab, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said.
"Make sure everything is completely healed before I blow it out of the water," Harrison said. "When I come back, I'm going to be good to go. … The main thing is I want to make sure the bone's healed completely. We'll take it from there."
Harrison has not yet attempted to hit high-velocity pitches, which will test his hand strength. When he does, he will also try out some new protective gear to prevent a third fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. For now, Harrison is hitting balls flipped to him by coaches and tracking his teammates' bullpen sessions to see velocity and pick up breaking balls.
"Trying to keep myself busy," Harrison said. "Being able to be here and be around the guys, watching them play has been something that's kind of helped me. Even though last night's game was long, we got a win."
• Reliever A.J. Schugel is being examined and will not be throwing after he returned from his Minor League rehab assignment with what Tomczyk called a "recurrence" of the right shoulder discomfort that has sidelined Schugel all season.
"We'll continue to put our heads together with our doctors, therapists and performance team members to help A.J. get in a position to compete at the Major League level again," Tomczyk said.
• Right-hander Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) is preparing for his next rehab start, which will likely take place with Triple-A Indianapolis. Tomczyk said the Pirates are still discussing the specific game Musgrove will pitch. He will need to make one more rehab start after that outing before he's ready to join the Pirates rotation.
• Left-hander Enny Romero (left shoulder impingement) will begin shoulder-strengthening exercises soon, Tomczyk said, so he can prepare to resume throwing.
• Infielder Jungho Kang has been working out at Pirate City for a week and a half, the start of his makeshift Spring Training after rejoining the Pirates organization. Tomczyk said Kang is seeing live pitching, running the bases and fielding ground balls. Pittsburgh has not set an official timetable for Kang's return, if he proves ready for the Majors at all.
"He's going through the ups and downs of Spring Training," Tomczyk said. "Overall, it's been a very positive experience thus far for Jung Ho."
Honorary bat girl selected
Dana Gorajewski of Wexford, Pa., was selected as the Pirates' honorary bat girl in support of the annual "Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative, which will be recognized on Mother's Day this Sunday at PNC Park. Gorajewski, a 44-year-old mother of two children, is a proud cancer survivor after a yearlong battle with Stage 2, triple-negative breast cancer that included seven months of chemotherapy treatments and three surgeries.
On Sunday, players will wear newly designed pink caps and pink ribbons on their chest. Some will also use pink gear, including socks and bats and hoodies. Louisville Slugger will donate proceeds from the sale of their pink bats, which will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer. Additionally, MLB will again donate its licensed uniform royalties through Mother's Day apparel to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.