Connor Joe missed all of the 2014 season with a back injury, throwing out his back during his first week with Jamestown, before he was able to play a game. The Pirates’ first round competitive balance pick wasn’t able to return during instructs, and didn’t get on the field until Spring Training rolled around. Even now, he has been limited on what he can do. Those limitations will most likely prevent him from starting the season in West Virginia.
“We’re probably going to start him [in extended Spring Training] anyways, and build up some volume, just because he doesn’t have the volume that he needs to get out there any play,” Pirates’ Farm Director Larry Broadway said. “He’s still not 100% as far as you’re free to go through the entire workday. So we’ve built up the workday volume, and we’re going to take some time building him up through games.”
Joe’s injury lingered last year, and basically led to eight months without any activity on a ball field. In a way, this Spring Training has been his rehab work, and the Pirates and focusing on bringing him back at a conservative pace.
“We’re going to take it slow. No need to break it out in the first year,” Broadway said.
Joe has been taking grounders at first and third base, and will likely split time between those two positions, with the bulk of the work coming at third base. He will eventually go to West Virginia when he’s ready to make his 2015 debut.