Notes: Hayes throws; Bucs injury updates

April 7th, 2021

Three days into his stint on the 10-day injured list, is doing “limited baseball activities,” according to Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk.

The Bucs' third baseman, who injured his left wrist swinging the bat in the first inning of Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Cubs, is throwing, but he has not played catch or swung a bat yet.

The Pirates seemed initially optimistic that they could avoid a 10-day injured list stint before Hayes’ issues with squeezing his glove during pregame workouts on Sunday. However, Tomczyk said the first 24-48 hours after inflammation like Hayes experienced allows for things to calm down and provide a clearer picture of the nature of the injury, and he thinks the club made the right move sending Hayes to the injured list when it did.

“We learned more,” Tomczyk said. “We all collectively got together as a group and felt this was the best path both short-term and long-term for Ke’Bryan and the team.”

Tomczyk said the injury will not require a brace or tape as it has been diagnosed for the moment. However, the nature of the wrist injury on his lower hand with respect to his batting grip is that, if not treated properly, the repeated impact of the knob of the bat could make the discomfort linger. Tomcyzk said at this time it’s hard to tell if this is an acute or a chronic issue, but that Hayes is “trending in a really good position.”

The Pirates will make sure Hayes is 100% comfortable when they put him back in the lineup, which means he may not be activated the day after the injured list trip is up.

“Obviously, we want him back as safely and expeditiously as we can with the long term in mind,” Tomczyk said. “So if it's not Day 11, it's not Day 11. We want him to feel strong. We want him to feel confident. We want him to be healthy for the majority of the season.”

The Bucs have had to be creative with their lineups in the absence of Hayes, whose on-base and slugging prowess early in his career have been a steadying force for the offense. Since Sunday, the Pirates have filled Hayes’ second spot in the lineup with Kevin Newman twice and Phillip Evans and Wilmer Difo once each.

Injury updates

• Blake Cederlind (Tommy John surgery) met with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to be fitted for his a brace and will head to Bradenton, Fla., to begin his rehab process in the coming weeks.

• Steven Brault (left arm discomfort) is working through range-of-motion exercises in Bradenton, and the Pirates hope to have a formal diagnostic reassessment late next week. He is not throwing yet, as the club said he would take a month off from throwing to begin his recovery.

• Cody Ponce (right forearm discomfort) threw two side sessions and a bullpen session in the past week, and he’s scheduled for a simulated game in the coming days. Tomczyk described his recovery as “very good progress.”

• Jose Soriano (Tommy John surgery) is approaching the simulated game stage of his progression, which has mostly consisted of side sessions. Soriano, a Rule 5 Draft pick, must spend at least 90 days on the active roster this season or be offered back to the Angels for cash.

• Austin Davis (left elbow sprain) is continuing through a side progression with no setbacks so far.