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Pitching Prospect Brennan Malone Staying Positive Yet Realistic

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Brennan Malone

Injuries and setbacks are a part of life. Still, when you’re a ball player, the gravity of the situation is always heightened, especially when you’ve only pitched 27 innings in three years, like Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Brennan Malone.

The Pirates acquired Malone in January of 2020, along with infield prospect Liover Peguero from the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Starling Marte.

Since the ’20 trade, Malone has suffered a laundry list of setbacks and injuries, including his latest with a right labrum issue that required surgery in Aug. 2022.

In Nov. ’22, Malone posted a video stating he could lift, run, throw, push, and pull with his right arm.

Since his surgery in Aug., Malone has been working diligently to get back to the mound at some point in the near future. Thankfully, he was able to talk with us at Pittsburgh Baseball Now and discuss his progress so far.

“As of right now, I’m throwing three days a week at around 90 ft,” said Malone. “With the labrum, I have four anterior anchors and one posterior anchor that will continue to melt into my muscles and tendons. It definitely hurts a good bit to throw and put some juice on it, but honestly from what I hear, that’s just how it’s going to be for some time.”

On Wednesday, Pirates Director of Sports Medicine Todd Tomczyk said that he doesn’t anticipate any restrictions on Malone moving forward, which is a good sign for the unlucky pitcher.

In terms of goals, Malone kept a positive mindset but also a realistic one.

“My next goal is to throw from 120 ft. I’m making a ton of progress, and I’m on a really good path to make a comeback. I won’t say too much about how much longer I have because I’m just trying to take it day by day. I feel like [taking it day by day] will make the process easier and [allow] me to focus on the little goals first.”

It’s always heartbreaking to watch an athlete constantly end up on the injured list, and Malone is no exception. With the stuff he has to offer, Malone could’ve been in the Pirates’ top ten prospect lists, but due to injury, he has been given the short end of the stick.

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Not long ago, draft experts had Malone and Quinn Priester neck and neck in their rankings with similar grades on their curveballs and fastballs, and we all know how Priester is doing at the moment.

Whether we see Malone in 2023 remains to be seen, but if he does indeed come back, it wouldn’t shock me one bit if he came out of the bullpen on a strict pitch count limit.

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