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Pirates Notes: Kela Activated, Holmes to the IL, Taillon and Polanco Injury Updates


The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated right-handed reliever Keone Kela from his two-game suspension, which the team announced on Monday. To make room on the active roster, Clay Holmes has been added to the 10-day IL with right triceps inflammation.

Francisco Cervelli was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man for Kela. Cervelli is eligible to return as early as July 26th, although it doesn’t seem like he’ll return that soon, as Alan Saunders reported this afternoon on his rehab work.

The bigger injury update today was that Jameson Taillon is experiencing pain in his right forearm again, and had his throwing program halted.

With the position the Pirates are in right now, it doesn’t make sense for Taillon to try and return at all this year. But you hope that he doesn’t need a major surgery, as that could put a big part of his 2020 season in jeopardy as well. That would drastically change the Pirates’ chances of contending, since they’re still relying on Taillon and Chris Archer to lead the pitching staff. Archer isn’t a guy you want to solely rely on right now, and if Taillon misses time, that leaves you with a questionable top of the rotation.

Gregory Polanco is in the same situation with a setback, as Alan reported.

Like Taillon, the Pirates don’t really need to rush Polanco back this year, especially since they have several outfield options to choose from. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them trade Corey Dickerson and/or Melky Cabrera by the deadline, at which point Polanco would have a spot if he’s healthy.

Polanco has had stretches where he showed some impact potential at the plate, but they’ve always been derailed by injuries. I think the biggest concern for the Pirates should be getting him as healthy as possible for the 2020 season, and hoping the offense returns to where it was in 2018 when he was healthy. The outfield next year is projected to be Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Bryan Reynolds, so having Polanco prepared for 2020 is going to be more important than rushing him back in 2019.

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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