Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1B Brad Eldred's Return Going Slowly on Hispanola

Pirates front office personnel is involved in a few quiet trade talks but likely will return from Orlando with little to show for it

The re-emergence of Pittsburgh's 6-foot-five, 270-pound first base prospect Brad Eldred, 27, would have allowed Xavier Nady to return from first base to this natural position in the Pirates outfield, thus making trade bait available.

But Eldred's rehabilitation is going slowly because of a long layoff after he fractured the joint and collateral ligament of his left thumb in a collision with a baserunner at AAA Indianapolis last season.

Eldred has returned from rehab, but went 1-18 with a homer in his debut in the Dominican Winter League on the island of Hispanola in the Caribbean. He'll get a look this spring, but it remains to be seen how long Eldred will need to recover his form.