Update — The Pirates announced Hayes was removed from Thursday afternoon’s opener vs. the Cardinals and is day-to-day with forearm spasms. So the team says it isn’t the wrist that bothered him all last season. That’s good news if it is the entire news. After signing a massive extension, don’t be surprised if the Pirates hold Hayes out of the lineup for the bit to get himself right. We’ll keep an eye heading into Game 2 of the opening series.
It’s unclear when the injury occurred, but it might have happened when Hayes dived to the ground in an effort to catch a Dylan Carlson pop-up that fell for a double.
#Pirates Ke'Bryan Hayes walked off the field and into the tunnel after possibly hurting his wrist during this play. Left wrist (trainer unwrapped it and it was the only one wrapped)— Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) April 7, 2022
No obvious discomfort. Monitoring. Here is the play he got hurt on. pic.twitter.com/kdDYuhbUti
The injury is a shot in the gut for Hayes, the Pirates and all of their fans for multiple reasons. One, Hayes injured his left wrist in the second game of the 2021 season and ended up missing the next two months. He played through pain in that wrist after he returned and hit .258 with only five home runs and a .681 OPS through 94 games until he was shut down for the year in late September due to a setback with his left wrist.
Secondly, Hayes, who is considered one of the franchise’s building blocks and was ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Majors prior to the 2021 season according to MLB Pipeline, reportedly agreed to an eight-year, $70 million contract extension just hours before Thursday’s first pitch. That contract would be the richest ever handed out in Pirates history. And now the recipient has apparently suffered a familiar injury before the ink is even dry.