Pirates general manager Ben Cherington provided a few injury updates on Sunday from Bucs Spring Training.
• Left-handed reliever Austin Davis experienced left elbow soreness this offseason, according to Cherington. Davis, who pitched 6 2/3 innings last season, will not appear in games at the start of Spring Training.
“He's doing well and recovering, but would be a little bit behind,” Cherington said of the 28-year-old.
Davis was acquired from the Phillies on Aug. 26. He has a 5.66 ERA in 62 innings over three big league seasons.
• Gregory Polanco will be a full go at camp this spring, per Cherington. The right fielder fractured his right wrist while playing for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.
“We may just keep an eye on total volume, total reps early, the first couple weeks or so, just to make sure he's responding OK, because he obviously hasn't been in any games," Cherington said. “But other than that, no restrictions there."
• Jose Soriano, who is on the 60-day injured list after undergoing Tommy John surgery in February 2020, is “on track” with his recovery. The Pirates’ No. 28 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, is expected to join the club this season after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, as he must be on the 40-man roster.
Cruz primarily at shortstop
Oneil Cruz’s exceptional arm strength has invoked some questions about the 6-foot-7 player’s fit in the outfield vs. his natural shortstop position. However, Cherington said the organization sees Cruz, who is in Bradenton, Fla., in the quarantine protocol ahead of full-squad workouts at the Bucs' Spring Training facility, as a shortstop.
That doesn’t mean Cruz won’t be tested at other positions, though. Versatility is a keyword in the Pirates’ overall framework, and MLB Pipeline's No. 64 overall prospect is no exception.
“I don't know if many -- or any -- players at the Major League level didn't at least get some exposure to another position, some reps at another position as they get closer to the big leagues, and then often when they get to the big leagues,” Cherington said. “So we just want to make sure we cover that with Oneil and with every player here, really.”
Hitting the mark
After signing Todd Frazier to a Minor League deal on Saturday, the Pirates’ Spring Training roster sits at 72.
Cherington said he was looking for the 75-man Spring Training roster to sit around 70-72 entering full-squad workouts. This allows the club to continue to monitor the free-agent market, waiver wire and trade market for potential additions without needing to knock a prospect out of camp before games start.
“We’ll keep looking, but we’re about where we wanted to be to start camp,” he said.