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Pittsburgh Pirates rookie third baseman/outfielder Phillip Evans is 13-for-38 (.342) with three home runs, two doubles and a 1.076 OPS through 11 games to begin the season. The 28-year-old is tied for 26th among qualified hitters (tied with Nolan Arenado and Mike Trout) with 17 hard-hit batted balls (balls with an exit velocity above 95 mph). Evans' 92.8 mph average exit velocity ranks him at 17th, one spot higher than Bryce Harper. The rookie doesn't elevate the ball much, but he's struck out just 11.1 percent of the time. Evans is slashing .342/.444/.632 with eight runs scored and five RBI in the first 11 games of the season. He's taken full advantage of Ke'Bryan Hayes' injury, so expect the Pirates to find him a spot in the everyday lineup once Hayes is ready to return.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter Mitch Keller allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings during an 8-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon. The right-hander gave up nine hits including a two-run shot in the first inning to Manny Machado and three walks. Keller's ERA spiked to 8.74 through three starts in 2021. The 25-year-old hurler has now allowed 16 hits and eight walks in 11 1/3 innings of work. It's a disappointing step back for Keller, who had similar struggles in 2019 but rebounded in his sophomore season in 2020 to post a 2.91 ERA with nine hits allowed in 21 2/3 innings. He's still loaded with potential but is someone you may want to match up carefully going forward until he shows more consistency.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Phillip Evans is not in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against Chris Paddack and the San Diego Padres. Erik Gonzalez is covering third in the game and batting fifth. Evans has been a great surprise story for the team so far this year. Through 11 games, he's slashing .342/.444/.632 with three home runs, five RBI and eight runs. The 28-year-old should be rostered in all deep leagues and NL-only leagues at this point. He's more of a fringe player in shallow leagues.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (wrist) did some light swinging against soft toss pitches on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said, "Ke'Bryan is going to have to regain that confidence that he can be Ke'Bryan again on the field. ... We want him to feel confident for the remainder of the season and not just make this a short-term gain." It's an encouraging sign for managers after reports came out yesterday that Hayes had not yet resumed swinging. Hayes was eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday, but there is still no timetable for his return.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (wrist) is unlikely to be activated from the injured list tomorrow, according to The Athletic's Rob Biertempful. Hayes has been out since the second game of the season with wrist inflammation, and Biertempful reports that he has yet to start swinging a bat. Manager Derek Shelton said that the team has not made a decision yet with Hayes, but if he's still not swinging a bat yet, it's likely he'll be out for a while longer. Phillip Evans has been a good fantasy and real-life replacement for Hayes, as he is slashing .406/.457/.750 with three home runs in nine games.