Xavier Nady remains sidelined with a left shoulder injury, while catcher Ryan Doumit continues to feel the effects of a slight concussion he sustained in Chicago on Tuesday.
With Doumit hitting .341 and Nady batting .314 on the season, the absence of both hitters takes away the two best averages in Pittsburgh's lineup. Not to mention Doumit and Nady had been holding down the No. 4 and 5 holes in the lineup.
For Nady, who suffered a sprained left shoulder in a collision with the outfield wall last week, the progress continues at a slow, yet upward, pace. After taking dry swings on Thursday, he took cuts in the batting cages for the first time Friday. He was then set to be re-evaluated before it would be determined when Nady could begin taking batting practice again.
Still, there is no expectation that Nady would be available until sometime next week at the earliest. However, the Pirates have been encouraged enough by his progress to keep from putting him on the disabled list just yet.
If they were to do so, Nady would not be available for this entire nine-game homestand.
Manager John Russell said that management will re-evaluate Nady's status on Monday's off-day and determine then whether a disabled list stint would be necessary.
As for Doumit, the Pirates' starting catcher underwent further concussion tests on Friday, all of which came back fine. He did some light on-field activity on Friday, though Russell said that he would be unable to pinch-hit until Sunday at the earliest.
Russell targeted Tuesday as the earliest date for Doumit to make his next start.
"With the symptoms, all it's going to take is one real good foul tip and it will set him back to where he was again, or even worse," Russell said. "We just want to make sure that we get this thing completely under control. We don't want to mess around with this."
With Doumit out, Raul Chavez will assume all starting catching duties. With no other backup catcher on the roster, Russell would have to turn to Doug Mientkiewicz if a situation arose where the team needed an emergency backstop.
Mientkiewicz was a catcher during high school.
"He doesn't have a Pudge Rodriguez arm," Russell said. "But he can receive."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less