Glasnow, Stewart set for rehab stints

Bucs' top prospect likely to throw to veteran catcher Sunday

Glasnow, Stewart set for rehab stints

PITTSBURGH -- After taking part in a simulated game Tuesday afternoon, Tyler Glasnow, the Pirates' No. 1 prospect, and catcher Chris Stewart will head to the Minor Leagues this weekend to continue their injury rehabilitation.

Stewart will begin a rehab assignment on Friday with Double-A Altoona. He plans to catch seven innings and initially play every other day as he tests out his aching left knee. The Pirates have gradually ramped up Stewart's workload over the past few weeks, preparing him to play in games.

"I didn't want to slowly break into it. I wanted to be ready to go when we started doing games," Stewart said. "I think we're at that point. How I feel after, how I feel the next day will dictate where we go from there."

Head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said the Pirates "threw the whole kitchen sink" at Stewart in an attempt to avoid career-threatening knee surgery. Pittsburgh's training staff has a "rough outline" for Stewart's rehab, but it's unclear exactly when he will return to the big leagues.

Stewart likely will squat behind the plate to catch Glasnow on Sunday. After throwing a side session Thursday, Glasnow will join Altoona on Sunday and throw four innings or 65-70 pitches as his sore right shoulder continues to round back into playing shape.

Glasnow will need at least one more rehab start after that before he's built up enough to get back in the rotation, whether it's for the Pirates or Triple-A Indianapolis.

Glasnow's road to recovery

Sitting out
After bruising his eye and getting beaten up on a play at the plate Tuesday night, first baseman John Jaso was out of the starting lineup Wednesday against the Padres. Tomczyk said Jaso's eye was fine, but he was still sore.

Jaso, who has a history of head injuries, was cleared to play under the league's concussion protocol. Tomczyk said Jaso could be available in some capacity off the bench.

Padres' relay cuts down Jaso

Walking away
Andrew McCutchen drew three walks Tuesday night, giving him six in four games since he was benched for a full series. That's more walks than McCutchen drew in the month of July (five) and as many as he totaled in his previous 32 games combined.

Manager Clint Hurdle gave McCutchen, four months into the worst offensive season of his career, the series off in Atlanta to "unplug" him. Did it work?

"I just like what I'm seeing," Hurdle said. "The only guy I'm talking to about Andrew is Andrew."

Sticking around
Rookie right-hander Chad Kuhl has earned at least one more start and perhaps a permanent spot in the rotation. Kuhl will pitch Sunday's series finale at Dodger Stadium. Kuhl is 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA and the Pirates have won all five of his starts.

"We're going to give him the ball again," Hurdle said. "I like what I see. There's grit there. There's some determination. He's still learning things."

Kuhl's winning start

Giving back
Reliever Jared Hughes led a group of Pirates players as they visited Wednesday with children as part of the Major League Baseball Players Trust's "Buses for Baseball" program. Fifty children from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Laurel Region spoke with the players, asked questions and got autographs.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.