PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates have their All-Star closer back.
David Bednar was activated from the 15-day injured list prior to Thursday night’s opener of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.
Bednar had been out since July 30 with lower back inflammation.
Left-handed reliever Eric Stout was placed on the 15-day IL with lower back discomfort to clear a roster spot.
In 40 games this season, Bednar is 3-4 with 17 saves in 21 opportunities and a 2.70 ERA. He also pitched a scoreless inning for the National League in the All-Star Game in July at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Manager Derek Shelton would not commit as to whether Bednar will go right back to the closer’s role or be eased into high-leverage appearances.
Bednar made three rehab appearances with Triple-A Indianapolis before being activated.
“We’re definitely in a good spot right now,” he said. “We’re feeling better, so hopefully we’ll just finish out the season strong and go into the offseason feeling healthy.”
The Pirates were 15-34 while Bednar was out. The Mars High School graduate admits it was tough to sit and watch while not being able to help.
“Anytime you’re on the IL and you see your team lose a close game, especially in the spot there where you would be pitching, you always want to be out there helping the guys,” Bednar said. “That’s the stuff that always kind of gets to you. Just being healthy again and go out there and compete with them, because they’ve been playing their butts off. Getting back there and finishing the season strong is really important to me.”
Stout’s season is effectively over as just 14 days remain in the season. He was 0-0 with one save and a 5.64 ERA in 20 games.
Also Thursday, right-hander Tyler Beede cleared waivers and was outrighted to Indianapolis. Beede was 2-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 25 games (five starts) before being designated for assignment last week.