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Pittsburgh Pirates' Elite Closer Progressing Back From Lat Injury

David Bednar, who was shut down last week with a lat injury, is continuing to play catch and is progressing well. However, his status for Opening Day isn't known just yet.

Pittsburgh Pirates' closer David Bednar is continuing to work back from a lat injury but his Opening Day availability isn't known yet.

Per Alex Stumpf of

David Bednar (lat tightness) played catch for a second straight day today. Everything felt good, Derek Shelton reports.

That's certainly good news as Bednar is the anchor of the Pirates' bullpen and one of the best closers in the National League. He's been an All-Star each of the last two seasons.

Overall, Bednar has appeared in part of five major league seasons with the San Diego Padres and the Pirates, but his career really took off upon getting to Pittsburgh in 2021. The burly right-hander has made 45 or more appearances in each of the last three years and had a career-high 39 saves in 2023.

Pittsburgh finished fourth in the National League Central last season but they've brought in a number of veterans this offseason with the goal of being more competitive. The team has signed Eric Lauer, Martin Perez and Yasmani Grandal, and traded for Marco Gonzales. Furthermore, if Bednar ends up not being ready for Opening Day, the team has veteran Aroldis Chapman, who they also signed to a deal this offseason.

The Pirates also will get sensational shortstop Oneil Cruz back from injury after he missed nearly the entire season with a broken leg suffered last April.

Pittsburgh will open up the season on March 28 against the Miami Marlins, one of the wild card teams in the National League playoffs a season ago.

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