After suffering wrist injury, Pirates prospect Henry Davis learns to manage pain

When Henry Davis made his Double-A debut in Altoona, he felt some pain in his left wrist, the result of getting hit by a pitch while playing in High-A Greensboro.

He hit a home run, anyway.

“He was swinging through pain,” Pittsburgh Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday of the award-winning catching prospect. “Part of the evolution and growth of a young player is figuring out what they can and can not play through. Henry was tough enough, but in the same breath smart enough to be aware of his body.

“It was most affecting his receiving. Eventually it affected the swing. ”

Davis, 22, was placed on the minor-league injured list May 12 with what Tomczyk described as “a very non-displaced fracture” of the left wrist.

“He’s working hard. He’s continuing in some baseball activities, keeping the arm going, keeping the legs going, ”he said. “We envision him re-engaging in some type of grip activities in about a week, then we’ll have a buildup after that.”

Tomczyk said Davis wears a splint when he’s at rest, but it comes off when he is working on other areas of the body.

Davis, the first overall draft choice in 2021, was slashing .341 / .456 / .585 in Greensboro with five home runs and 22 RBIs. He was 1 for 5 in Altoona before going on the injured list.

In other injury news:

• Relief pitcher Heath Hembree is building back strength after going on the injured list Tuesday (retroactive to Saturday) with a right calf strain.

“He was having difficulties pushing off that back leg,” Tomczyk said. “The (medical) group is taking a little bit of time with him for him not to have to throw. They’ll rehab, recoup and build up some strength there. ”

Hembree may resume throwing over the weekend.

• Shortstop Kevin Newman has been moved to the 60-day injured list after straining his left hamstring while rehabbing a left groin injury. He isn’t eligible to return to the roster until June 26.

“He’s still treatment only,” Tomczyk said.

• Treatment and rest are prescribed for designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, who went on the IL on Tuesday with a right hamstring strain. He said he suffered the injury May 18 while running to first base in Chicago.

“I felt like this was the right thing to do,” Vogelbach said of going on the IL. “Make it a short-term thing, instead of trying to play through it and make it a long-term thing.

“Hopefully, I’m back hitting in San Diego (this weekend).”

• Outfielder Jake Marisnick saw the surgeon who performed his thumb surgery, and he has received clearance to resume advanced gripping and baseball activities.

“We’re definitely encouraged. I say this cautiously, ”Tomczyk said. “He’s a little bit ahead of schedule. That’s a testament to Jake himself of knowing himself, his body, what he can and can’t push through. ”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at or via Twitter .

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