Pirates notebook: Burnett doesn't want minor league rehab assignment
A.J. Burnett, who has been out since June 9 with a strained right calf, does not want to go on a minor league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list.
“I don't know why I'd need it,” Burnett said Wednesday. “I didn't hurt my arm.”
The right-hander said he felt fine after throwing a 55-pitch simulated game Tuesday at PNC Park. Burnett will throw a bullpen session Thursday morning.
If Burnett can persuade management he's fit to return to action, he might rejoin the starting rotation early next week.
Manager Clint Hurdle realizes Burnett would rather get back into the fray in the big leagues than tune up a time or two in the minors.
“Our concern is he returns to pitch and is as competitive as he needs to be,” Hurdle said. “The challenge is always, when these guys return from injury, how sharp are they going to be. And I haven't seen many players who've even gone out and rehabbed and come back sharp. It just doesn't happen.”
“We'll talk,” he said. “We'll communicate through it.”
Tabata: Everyday player?
Righty Brandon Cumpton was sent back to Triple-A Indianapolis, and outfielder Jose Tabata was activated from the DL. Tabata had been out since May 25 with a strained left oblique.
“Every once in a while I feel it a little bit, but that's normal,” Tabata said. “It's a little tight sometimes, especially when I wake up in the morning. Right now I feel good.”
In nine rehab games with Indy, Tabata hit .179 (5 for 28).
“Dean (Treanor), the manager at Indy, told me the most important thing is how I'm feeling,” Tabata said. “At the beginning, I was a little scared and didn't want to swing (too hard). After a while he told me to start working on my swing. It's good — not 100 percent, but I feel like 95 percent.”
Pirates right fielders this year have produced a .227 batting average, a .292 on-base percentage and an .656 OPS, which all rank last in the National League.
Hurdle indicated Tabata will get a chance over the next few days to claim an everyday job — essentially displacing Travis Snider — if he can produce.
“We're going to give him every opportunity to get out there,” Hurdle said. “I'm not all caught up in the numbers part of it. I've got to see the fire, the energy and the passion. He definitely could be that guy. We're looking to put the most competitive team we can out there.”
Rest and rehab for McDonald
Righty James McDonald (shoulder) was examined Tuesday in Dallas by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister. Meister agreed with the Pirates' doctors, who did not discover structural damage.
“There's a little inflammation in there, a little fraying, tendinitis,” McDonald said. “(Meister) told me to not throw for two or three weeks and go from there. It (stinks) because I want to be on the field, but it was good news to hear that.”
McDonald had a relapse during his rehab stint because he wasn't shut down long enough and rushed back into action, he said.
Planet of the aches
The Pirates issued brief updates on a few other injured players:
• Right-hander Phil Irwin had ulnar transposition surgery on his right elbow Wednesday morning at Allegheny General Hospital. He is expected to miss about two weeks. On April 14, Irwin worked five innings and got a no-decision in a spot start against the Cincinnati Reds.
• Reliever Jared Hughes (shoulder inflammation) had no trouble Tuesday throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session. He will fly to Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday to continue his return-to-pitch progression.
• Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (forearm tightness) had a platelet-rich plasma injection Monday and “is in the rest-and-treatment phase of his rehabilitation.”
• Righty Kyle McPherson (elbow) will be examined by orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews late next week. This will be McPherson's second visit to Andrews. On May 8, Andrews treated McPherson with a PRP injection.
The new kids
The Pirates signed two more draft picks: shortstop Adam Frazier (sixth round) and catcher Andrew Dennis (37th round). Both were assigned to short-season Single-A Jamestown.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Padres, July 6, 2015
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015