Pittsburgh Pirates: Should the Bucs Have Given Up on Steve Pearce?

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2011

Steve Pearce
Steve PearceJared Wickerham/Getty Images

In 2010, Steve Pearce came into the Pittsburgh Pirates camp in the best shape of his career, and his hard work did not go unnoticed.  Pirates president Frank Coonelly was pleased with his development.

Unfortunately for Pearce, his 2010 season was cut short in May when he rolled his right ankle and was put on the disabled list.

In a chat with Coonelly last January, he talked about Pearce's work ethic and how it was beginning to payoff last season.

"Steve Pearce has been working hard in his rehabilitation and should report to spring training ready to compete for a job on the Major League club," Coonelly said.  "Steve's injury last year was unfortunate because he had worked extraordinarily hard to get in the best shape of his career, and that extra work was evident in his play."

Pearce performed well at the start of the 2011 season, batting .291.  But then, his season was cut short once again. 

This time, it was a strained right calf injury.  In late July, Pearce made it back to the big league club, but on Aug. 23 he was put on the disabled list and kept off the roster the remainder of the season.

As you can see, injuries have slowed Pearce's progress to becoming an everyday big league player. 

Although the Pirates have given up hope on their one-time promising star, the Minnesota Twins have signed him to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.

If Pearce can pick up where he left off last May, the Twins just may have a legitimate backup for Justin Morneau.