Pirates’ Jared Jones expected to miss more than 2 weeks, says manager Derek Shelton

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie pitcher Jared Jones was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right lat strain on Thursday. However, before Friday’s series opener versus the New York Mets, manager Derek Shelton told reporters that the right-hander will likely be out for longer than two weeks.

Shelton said Jones probably won’t throw again for two weeks and after that, the Pirates will re-evaluate the pitcher before deciding how to move forward.

A 15-day IL stint would take Jones into the All-Star break, but ramping back up after a rest means that he likely won’t return until the end of July or beginning of August.

Jones was pulled from his start on Wednesday after five innings, which many assumed was done for load management reasons. The Pirates have monitored the rookie’s pitch and inning counts, skipping Jones’ last turn in the rotation (scheduled for June 28) to give him more rest. He threw live batting practice during the 10-day break.

After Jones’ start against the Cardinals, Shelton said he was taken out of the game for “an abundance of caution.” Prior to getting pulled, the rookie allowed one run, four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 78 pitches.

Jones admitted that he felt tightness in his right lat and was pulled after he told trainers about it. But he insisted there was “nothing to be concerned about.”

In 16 starts this season, Jones has a 3.56 ERA (ranking 10th among rookie starting pitchers) with 98 strikeouts in 91 innings and a 5–6 record.

Despite a 41–45 record going into Friday’s game, the Pirates are four games out of the National League’s final wild-card playoff spot. (Four teams are above them in the standings, however.)