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Marte progressing quickly in rehab work

Injury updates on Schugel, prospect Reynolds; Moran discusses unusual homer
MLB.com @adamdberry

CINCINNATI -- Pirates center fielder Starling Marte is quickly moving forward in his recovery from a right oblique strain.

Marte began participating in baseball activities over the weekend, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said on Wednesday, and has resumed hitting in an indoor batting cage. Marte ran the bases, stretched with the team and played catch on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

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CINCINNATI -- Pirates center fielder Starling Marte is quickly moving forward in his recovery from a right oblique strain.

Marte began participating in baseball activities over the weekend, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said on Wednesday, and has resumed hitting in an indoor batting cage. Marte ran the bases, stretched with the team and played catch on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

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"The early reports have been positive," Tomczyk said. "He is making very nice progress in his return from the disabled list."

Marte has been sidelined since May 16 due to the strained oblique, which he sustained during a swing on May 15. The Pirates put him on the disabled list last Friday, retroactive to May 16, so he is eligible to return Saturday. Marte hoped to avoid the DL entirely but said his stay should be short, perhaps not much longer than the minimum 10 days.

"This is not going to be something that's going to be lengthy," Marte said Sunday through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. "I believe we're going to be able to bounce back right away."

Marte was off to an excellent start before the injury, slashing .308/.366/.503 with six homers and 10 steals while ranking among the Major League leaders in outs above average. In his absence, Austin Meadows started in center field Wednesday for the fifth straight game.

Video: SF@PIT: Marte charges in to make slick sliding catch

Injury updates
Right-handed reliever A.J. Schugel (shoulder) is not throwing following a platelet-rich plasma injection. Tomczyk said the Pirates will re-evaluate Schugel, who has been out all season, in about a week to determine if he's fit to resume playing catch. Lefty reliever Enny Romero (shoulder) is playing catch on flat ground at the Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla.

Double-A outfielder Bryan Reynolds, acquired in the Andrew McCutchen trade, is playing in extended spring games less than six weeks after undergoing surgery to remove the fractured hook of his left hamate bone. He's the Pirates' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Reliever Nick Burdi, a Rule 5 Draft pick recovering from Tommy John surgery, is throwing bullpen sessions with an eye on facing hitters in early June, Tomczyk said. Non-roster outfielder Daniel Nava, who had back surgery in February, experienced a "minor setback" in his recovery but hopes to resume running soon, Tomczyk said.

High, far, gone
Colin Moran is known for his selectivity at the plate, not as a free swinger, so he's not looking to take many more hacks like the one he took in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 7-2 loss to the Reds.

Matt Harvey fired two strikes to get ahead of Moran then delivered a 95.1-mph fastball well above the strike zone -- 4.45 feet above the ground, according to Statcast™. Knowing Harvey struck him out on a high fastball earlier in the game, Moran swung and somehow got to the pitch. It landed in the right-field seats for his fourth home run of the season.

Video: PIT@CIN: Moran clubs high pitch for solo home run

Moran has had an easier time getting to high fastballs since adjusting his swing two offseasons ago. But he's not trying to hit anything that high.

"You work hard in the cage to set up a swing path that can be short, that can make contact on different pitches," Moran said. "Obviously I wouldn't like to swing at that pitch too often, because I don't know how much success I'd have on it."

Manager Clint Hurdle smiled when told of Moran's response, an indication of not only his disciplined approach but also his reflective attitude.

"I'm glad he swung at it," Hurdle added.

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

Pittsburgh Pirates, Starling Marte, Colin Moran