PITTSBURGH- Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington on his radio program on 93.7 The Fan, discussed some health updates regarding third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, and 1B/DH Ji-Man Choi.
Hayes has been on the IL for the Pirates since June 28 (retro June 25) with low back inflammation. Choi has been on the IL for the Pirates since April 14 with a strained left Achilles tendon.
“He’s making good progress and feeling better every day,” said Cherington on Hayes. “We’re certainly hopeful that this will be on the shorter end of things. As we did with Reynolds, we’ll let Key tell us how he’s progressing, when he feels like he’s ready. I believe he was going to get into more baseball activity today, and then obviously, we’ll hit the road, and he’ll continue to work out in Los Angeles.”
Since going on a rehab assignment for the Pirates, Choi has put together a good run of games for their Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis with two homers, seven RBIs, and a .316 average in 19 at-bats.
“Given what he’s recovering from, we want to make sure he gets those defensive reps while he’s in Triple-A,” said Cherington on Choi. “We want to build that defensive progression, so when he’s back, he’s fully available as a first baseman. Not to suggest Santana isn’t going to keep playing first base, but just to have that option for Choi. We want to make sure he’s physically checking all of the boxes on the defense and base running side.”
Cherington also mentioned that they acquired Choi for a reason, and he likes what he’s seen on the offensive side, but they want to be cautious with him, given how long he’s been out.