Chris Stewart to Rejoin Pirates When Rosters Expand on September 1st

ALTOONA, PA – According to Altoona Curve manager Joey Cora, Chris Stewart will be rejoining the Pirates once rosters expand on September 1st.

Stewart began a rehab assignment with the Curve on August 12th and has caught eight games so far. He began by catching seven innings games with a day break in-between. He then caught four innings on the 16th and seven innings on 17th, both games shortened because of being a part of a doubleheader.

Since August 20th, Stewart has progressed to catching nine inning games with a day off in-between. Cora said that they do not plan on catching him back-to-back at all for the rest of his rehab assignment, as it is not something that he would do in the majors.

Otherwise, Stewart is healthy and should be ready to return to the Pirates on September 1st.

“He’s healthy, and he’s getting through it,” Cora said. “He probably has two more games to go here, and hopefully everything finishes out okay. He’s doing what he needs to do to get back to the big leagues. It’s a matter of him being healthy for nine innings and getting his at-bats.”

Cora commended Stewart on his work with fellow Curve catchers Jin-De Jhang and Tomas Morales, saying that Stewart has worked hard with them daily. Cora also noted that Stewart has been extremely helpful to the pitching staff, giving them advice and tips to help them progress in their respective careers.

All that has been beneficial, but his main goal has been to return to the Pirates as a healthy contributor.

“The main thing for him is to get healthy and get back to the big leagues on the 1st,” Cora said.

Stewart’s bat has been a little behind in terms of results, as he is only hitting .150 (3-for-20) with the Curve. He does, however, have a .393 OBP, drawing seven walks in the process. He has thrown out three runners in nine attempts (33%) in his eight starts.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 27, 2016 9:56 am

    Oh goody……

  • In September, do the Bucs keep Fryer at the expense of Diaz?

    • That might be the case bc Stewart would’ve been back already. The FO obviously didn’t want to DFA Fryer. It could also be a case of Stewart’s temporary replacement next year but all fans should know that NH just likes to keep everyone when it gets close to the 40- man

    • They’re both on the 40-man, so it’s not a question of one or the other. Diaz will be up after Indy’s season ends. Instead, it’s a question of whether they want to use Fryer’s 40-man spot at that point to add someone at some other position (Neverauskas, perhaps).

  • Maybe Gerrit Cole needs his personal catcher back…

    • Amazingly there is a difference! I disagreed the last time out but I was wrong.

  • Stewart’s bat has been a little behind since high school.

    • He will definitely not strike fear in the opposition as he strides to the plate, but he was decent with the bat for the Pirates in 2014 and 2015. He is down this year at .198, which is better than Fryer & Kratz, but that is not saying much.

      I liked the paragraph where Joey Cora talked about his work with the young Catchers and Pitchers at Altoona. In my estimation, and from listening to him talk in interviews, that might be his calling at this point in his career. And, if the team is waiting until Sep, Stewie may be coming up for nothing more than watching Cervelli and Diaz, being a sounding board for the Pitchers, and finishing out his career in the majors.

      • Yes but we have two more years of his offense. I agree he is an intelligent and articulate person. Can’t see carrying three catchers next year.

        • Sooner or later the Pirates are going to have to fish or cut bait with both Stewart and Diaz. Catchers do not age well and Diaz won’t be getting any younger at AAA. Stewart’s contract isn’t very big at all and there is always a demand for backup catchers.

          My thinking may be completely wrong, but Stewart will probably be traded in the offseason and the return might be a AA catcher.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            August 27, 2016 9:57 am

            The Pirates should have traded Diaz and Hanson 2 to 3 years ago. Because they wasted both of them…..

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