Prospect Meadows injures eye, set for tests

March 9th, 2016

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Outfielder Austin Meadows, the No. 2 prospect in the Pirates' system, sustained an orbital fracture to his right eye on Tuesday when he was struck in the face by a ball while playing catch at the club's Pirate City training complex.
Due to the swelling around his eye, Meadows will be examined in Pittsburgh for further tests early next week, the club announced. It is still too early to determine a recovery timeline for Meadows, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk added.
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Meadows, 20, hit .307/.357/.407 with seven home runs and 54 RBIs for Class A Advanced Bradenton last season and earned a late callup to Double-A Altoona, where he is expected to begin this year.
Meadows missed time in 2014 with hamstring injuries, but he hit .322/.388/.486 in 38 games for Class A West Virginia.
The ninth overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Meadows is ranked 20th on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list.
A.J. Burnett sustained a similar injury during Spring Training in 2012. Burnett was trying to bunt when a ball bounced off his bat and into his face. He had surgery to repair the orbital fracture on March 2, 2012, and made his first appearance of the season on April 21.
"Every injury's its own identity. Everybody's an individual and his own identity," Tomczyk said. "We're still examining and evaluating."
Trainer's room
• Third baseman Jung Ho Kang, recovering from a pair of devastating leg injuries suffered last September, hopes to run the bases this week, Tomczyk said.
The goal is for Kang to "get on the dirt in his cleats," Tomczyk added, but he will be limited to "linear," straight-line running. The Pirates hope to have Kang back in their lineup at some point in April.
• Left-hander Cory Luebke, a non-roster invitee competing for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen, pitched in a simulated game on Wednesday, indicating he could make his Grapefruit League debut soon.
• Non-roster lefty Robert Zarate (left elbow discomfort) played catch Wednesday. Left-hander Jesse Biddle, acquired this offseason in the early stages of his recovery from Tommy John surgery, started the flat-ground portion of his throwing program this week.
• Nick Kingham, the Pirates' No. 12 prospect, began throwing off the slope of the mound this week. Kingham is working his way back from Tommy John surgery in May.
• Non-roster outfielder Antoan Richardson (broken right foot) is scheduled to run the bases on Thursday.