Apr. 7—The left wrist injury that sent Ke'Bryan Hayes to the 10-day injured list has limited the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie third baseman's baseball activities to only throwing and not catching the ball or taking swings.
Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday the club is "overall encouraged" by Hayes' progress and he's "making daily improvements" but didn't rule out he could be out longer than initially expected.
"Obviously, we want him back as safely and as 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, feel confident, be healthy for the majority of the season."
Hayes, who homered last Thursday in the 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day, was removed in the third inning from Saturday's game at Wrigley Field. Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Hayes "caught the knob on the swing when he turned it over," guessing that "the knob kinda got in his hand awkwardly" in the first inning.
After drawing a walk, Hayes appeared to aggravate the wrist while diving back to first base. Pirates trainer Rafael Freitas checked on Hayes, who remained in the game to play third base until his next at-bat in the third inning.
"This was not something that was lingering at all," Tomczyk said. "The bottom line is, he was not in a good spot to continue to compete, continue to play and, as such, the right decision was made by removing him from the game and taking the next steps."
Tomczyk doesn't expect Hayes to be required to wear a brace and hopes this is an injury that won't linger all season.
"Ideally, we'd have him not deal with it all year," Tomczyk said. "That's hard for anybody, notably a young athlete who's making a mark on the game. We want him to feel as confident and ready as he was when he broke spring training. That is our main goal. That is his main goal. We would prefer this not to linger all year because that's gonna benefit nobody. Still a little bit too early to tell if this is acute upon chronic issue. But at this time, he is trending in a really good position."
Tomczyk provided medical updates for other injured Pirates:
—Left-handed pitcher Steven Brault (lat strain) is in Bradenton, working on restoring range of motion and plans to have a formal diagnostic reassessment late next week.
—Right-handed reliever Blake Cederlind, who underwent Tommy John surgery March 23, was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and fitted for brace and will transition to starting his rehabilitation in Bradenton this week.
—Left-handed reliever Austin Davis (elbow) continues to throw a side progression and is "making very nice progress," Tomczyk said.
—Right-hander Cody Ponce (forearm) has thrown two side sessions, a live batting practice and is scheduled to throw a simulated game in coming days.
—Right-hander Jose Soriano, the Rule 5 Draft pick who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw a side progression and is beginning the simulated game portion of that progression this week.
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .