Notes: Nady returns after hospital stay
Outfielder awaits diagnosis of stomach ailment
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Xavier Nady returned to the clubhouse Saturday, four pounds lighter and feeling a little weak, but on the upswing of the intestinal inflammation which forced him to check into an area hospital for two nights earlier this week.
"[With] the antibiotic and the limited diet, I'm able to eat better without the stomach pains," Nady said. "It just goes through phases where, every once in a while, it'll hit me like a ton of bricks and I'll just hunch over."
Nady said he first felt pain in his abdomen Sunday night. He decided to keep quiet at the time, but when the feeling intensified the next day and brought flu-like symptoms with it, he approached the doctor.
Normally, Nady said he may have just played it tough, but worrying him was the fact that the pains were similar to the ones he experienced just before he needed an emergency appendectomy last season on May 30.
"I knew something wasn't right, so I felt it was serious enough to get looked at," he said. "So I went in, and the next thing you know, I'm in there for a few days. I didn't want to be."
This time around, the result was four missed workouts, a few blood tests and no specific diagnosis as of yet. Nady will have more blood work done Monday that will hopefully reveal exactly what's ailing him. He mentioned having a cousin with Crohn's Disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with a genetic component to which there is no known cure. The Associated Press reported that Nady will be tested on Monday to determine if he has Crohn's.
Nady remained optimistic, though, and said he's looking forward to being able to eat something other than soup in the near future. As for workouts, the first few days may be limited to time on the stationary bike, and although he didn't do anything outside on Saturday, Nady made it out to the third-base line to visit with teammates who were taking batting practice.
"Whatever they tell me that I'm able to do, I'll try it," he said.
Nady, 28, should start in right field this season alongside teammates Jason Bay (left) and Chris Duffy (center), although it is unknown how this condition will affect him. The outfielder/first baseman missed 18 games last season while with the Mets after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix.
Nady hit .280 with 63 RBIs last season in 130 games with the Mets and Pirates, including 61 hits in 55 games with Pittsburgh. He was acquired from New York on July 31 in a deal for pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez.
Lessons from the best: Freddy Sanchez swung the best bat in the National League last season, but he needed a little help with his footwork when covering second base. Who better, then, to lend a hand than a Gold Glover?
"He's played a lot of second base, he's just a little rusty and we were just talking about what was going on and renewing him some things," said Hall-of-Famer Bill Mazeroski, an eight-time Gold Glove winner in his 17 seasons with Pittsburgh.
The main problem, Mazeroski said, was Sanchez not getting his body squared on the throw to first during a double play. The inability to do so leaves the second baseman vulnerable to injury, something the Pirates would obviously like to avoid from a 29-year-old who hit .344 and drove in 85 runs for them in 2006.
"He's a ballplayer, what more can you ask for than to have ballplayers helping other ballplayers?" said general manager Dave Littlefield. "Obviously to come in there with that kind of resume is a tremendous asset to us. Having been there and done that does count some in [the players'] world."
Injury report: Top prospect Andrew McCutchen was back in action Saturday after leaving Thursday's and Friday's workouts early with a case of gastritis. ... Jonah Bayliss did not throw off the mound for a fifth straight day because of a strained right quad. ... Javier Guzman threw for a bit and did some light jogging outside, but did not participate in any team activities. Guzman has tightness in his left knee that caused him to miss Friday's practice as well.
More on Maz: Mazeroski was seen pounding on a brand-new glove all day Saturday in an effort to break it in. The black-and-tan mitt, a gift from Rawlings, was the first new glove Mazeroski could remember he'd had since 1967.
After one day of work it was still a little stiff for his liking, so he pounded it a bit with the end of his bat before quipping, "I've got about three or four years to break it in for my grandson."
Mazeroski auctioned off his last game-worn glove during last year's All-Star festivities in Pittsburgh, for a reported $16,000.
Smile pretty: The Pirates will have picture day from 7:30-9:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Pirate City before breaking up into groups for their usual workout schedule.
Did you know? Mazeroski is the only Pirates player/coach to have his No. 9 jersey both retired and active at the same time, as he sports the same number at camp which hangs on the wall at PNC Park.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.