PITTSBURGH -- History repeated itself on Tuesday afternoon. There stood Josh Harrison in front of his locker in the Pirates clubhouse, talking about the exact same fracture to the exact same part of the exact same bone in his left hand that sidelined him only 7 1/2 months ago."Infinity to
PITTSBURGH -- History repeated itself on Tuesday afternoon. There stood Josh Harrison in front of his locker in the Pirates clubhouse, talking about the exact same fracture to the exact same part of the exact same bone in his left hand that sidelined him only 7 1/2 months ago.
"Infinity to one," Harrison said, "and it ended up happening."
Harrison spoke about his injury, a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand, on Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list. The fracture ended his 2017 season on Sept. 2, and it will keep him off the field for six weeks this year. Harrison hopes to return as scheduled, and he may have additional protection for his hand when he steps back in the batter's box.
• Harrison out for 6 weeks with left hand fracture
"I'll have to find some alternative batting glove or hand-protective something," Harrison said. "I've got a couple weeks to try to figure that out and see what works or fits best for me. That's definitely my next step."
But Harrison won't change his stance, setup or swing, even after being plunked 23 times last season. As he did last September, Harrison put the onus on pitchers and catchers to show more control when working inside.
"I don't necessarily want to change what I do because I don't think I need to change much," he said. "I think it's at a point where pitchers, if you can't command in, catchers don't call it -- especially up and in. You can call in, but if you call up and in with a guy that can't command it, a situation like this happens."
Last September, Harrison was hit by a 95.3-mph fastball from Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle. On Sunday, it was a 96 mph fastball from the Marlins' Jose Urena. Harrison's frustration was immediately apparent.
"I had a feeling given how I felt last year," Harrison said. "I knew I felt the ball graze my arm, but right away, I didn't feel anything in my arm. I felt my hand. I kind of had an idea."
For now, Harrison can run, keep his legs in shape and throw (but not catch) until he's cleared for further activity. The biggest challenge will be gripping a bat. Last offseason, he said, he regained full strength around the six-week mark. He wasn't swinging a bat at that point of the winter, but he was able to pick up his newborn daughter, Kinsli Rose, and change diapers.
"I've got to find a silver lining in this somehow. Got to keep bringing my energy. I can come back from this and still play," Harrison said. "Last year, I knew I wasn't coming back until the 2018 season. I have a chance to come back here around six weeks. I've got to stay in tune, got to stay ready and be here for my guys."
Harrison was pleased to see his guys -- namely starter Ivan Nova -- were there for him on Sunday. Harrison was hit in the top of the third at Marlins Park, and Nova's first pitch in the bottom of the inning drilled Miami's J.B. Shuck in the backside.
"It was something that I felt we lacked last year. I got hit 23 times, and the 24th one was the one that we finally decided to retaliate," Harrison said. "I'm not trying to get anybody hurt, but I've got a family. I've got kids. I want to play this game as long as possible."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.