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Keller throwing after scare; Martin dislocates shoulder


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Jason Martin -- MATT SUNDAY/DKPS

It could have been worse.

After losing Mitch Keller and Jason Martin to ugly looking injuries in Tuesday's loss, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk came bearing good and bad news Wednesday.

The good: after being struck in the right wrist with a line drive last night, the swelling on Keller's contusion has gone down. He threw Wednesday, including mixing in spin pitches.

If Keller was to pitch on a normal five day rotation, he would normally throw a side-session on day two, which would be Thursday. A decision has not been made yet on if he will throw it.

"If he's adjusting his mechanics, if he's adjusting his grip, I think we'll have our answer," Tomczyk said.

The bad: Martin is not as lucky. He dislocated his shoulder in his collision at home plate, and such an injury normally takes a month to heal. That means the September call-up's season is effectively done.

However, he got a non-operative recommendation, so it does not look like a repeat of Gregory Polanco's injury from last year.

"Overall, long-term good news for Jason Martin," Tomczyk said. "Good prognosis for the 2020 season."

Some other updates from around the team's injury list:

• Speaking of Polanco, let's make it official: He is not returning in 2019. The intensity of his throwing and hitting exercises was recently ramped up, but it did not yield the response the medical staff had hoped for. The recommendation at this time is to stop baseball activities for the remainder of the season and to have a series of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to calm the inflammation in his left shoulder.

"Throughout the course of September, we'll reassess and then come up with a new plan and prognosis for the 2020 season," Tomczyk said.

The expectation is that he will be ready for spring training.

Kevin Newman will not be in the lineup for the third straight game with right hip discomfort. He went through a full pregame workout and could be available off the bench Tuesday, according to Tomczyk.

Chris Archer (right shoulder inflammation) has been playing catch from flat ground, throwing from 75 to 90 feet and building up arm strength. The plan going forward is more of the same.

Nick Burdi is going to be reevaluated by Dr. Keith Meister after experiencing some intermediate forearm symptoms after starting some "aggressive type of rehab activities," as Tomczyk phrased it. This is not too uncommon for pitchers who undergo surgery to relieve neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, like Burdi.

• Chad Kuhl and Edgar Santana (both Tommy John surgery) were moved from the Pirates' instructional facility in Florida to PNC Park this week in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian's impact. Santana got his first chance to throw off the home mound since he stayed with his wife and newborn child last month when Kuhl made the trip up.

J.T. Brubaker was sent home from the facility. He has had no setbacks and is throwing without issue.

Chris Stratton (right side inflammation) has resumed playing flat ground catch. Yefry Ramirez (right calf strain) threw a side session Tuesday without issue. He will throw another side Thursday. He should be able to return one of the first days he is eligible.

• No change for Jameson Taillon (Tommy John surgery), though Tomczyk did comment about his positive attitude. "If there is a guy that's gonna beat the odds, it's gonna be Jameson Taillon."

• Nothin' on Lonnie Chisenhall.

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