Pirates place Bryan Reynolds on IL with Oblique Strain

The Pirates announced a number of transactions involving the outfielder ahead of today’s game Bryan Reynolds be placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain. To take his place in the active squad, outfielder Jake Marisnik was activated from the 60-day IL. To make room for Marisnick in the 40-man roster, left-handed Cam Viaux was designated for assignment.

Reynolds was removed from yesterday’s game with some ailments in his side, which has now been diagnosed as an oblique strain. The outfielder has been one of the bright spots of a rehabilitated Pirates team in recent years, with his 2021 season being the highlight so far. Last year he scored .302/.390/.522 for a 142 wRC+ and helped him produce 6.1 fWAR, the 10th highest such mark in the majors. This year, Reynolds struggled for about the first month but has been looking like his old self lately. Overall, his batting line for the season is .261/.343/.465 for a wRC+ of 126.

Of course, given that Reynolds is playing at a high level on a rebuilding team, there’s a lot of trade speculation surrounding him. However, as he is not scheduled to reach free agency until after the 2025 season, the Pirates have maintained sky-high asking prices in all trade talks, which is why no deal has materialized so far. That hasn’t stopped teams from trying, however, as reports earlier today suggest the club have turned down offers for Reynolds as well as David Bednar. It always seemed like the Pirates were holding on to him, but this IL placement effectively closes any chance that presents itself. The club have not given an estimated timeline for his recovery but the August 2 deadline is now just over three weeks away. Kevin Gorman from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review points out that oblique stretches are typically associated with a recovery time of about a month. If that is true in the case of Reynolds, he would be out of action until after the deadline.

Marisnick, 31, signed with the Pirates just before opening day but required thumb surgery in May. He came in 12 games before but dropped to .163/.196/.204. Marisnick is a glove-first outfielder anyway, with 78 saved defensive runs in his career book. He should be able to help the Bucs cover midfield in Reynolds’ absence. If he gets into a nice period of play before the deadline, he could be sold to a team looking for a strong defensive outfielder. A year ago he switched from the Cubs to the Padres in a date swap.

Vieaux, 28, was added to the big league squad just a few weeks ago. He’s made five appearances but his line is marred by one particular game where the club left him out to dry to save their other arms. After allowing a deserved run over his first four appearances, the Bucs sent him up eighth in a game they lost to the Brewers 9-1. Although Vieaux was hit badly, there was no help getting out of the inning. The left-hander threw 56 pitches in that one frame, allowing for six hits, three walks and eight runs, seven of which were earned. As a result, he has a 14.40 ERA in five innings this year. However, he has a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 triple-A frames this year. Lefty relievers are always in demand and Viewux still has options, making it possible for a team looking to add depth to give him a chance.