PITTSBURGH -- Questions about Stolmy Pimentel's well-being circulated for quite a while before the right-hander acknowledged shoulder discomfort and went on the disabled list Saturday with inflammation in the joint.
"Just the eye-test, from what we saw in Spring Training and last year," Clint Hurdle said. "We're glad he got to the point where he felt comfortable enough to let us know where he was physically, so now we can calm it down and build him back up to the guy we really like. He's dealt with it for a couple of weeks.
"We'd ask him periodically."
Until their latest inquiry, they got the "I'm fine" response. The situation was common, with players known to downplay injuries for a variety of reasons, ranging from job insecurity to high thresholds of pain.
"You ask these guys [how they are], and there's a lot of reasons they'll tell you they're fine," Hurdle said.
The Pirates admire the upside of the Dominican native, rated the organization's No. 16 prospect by MLB.com and who had essentially been squirreled away in the bullpen until the need arose for a spot starter. Were it not for the shoulder inflammation and trip to the DL, Pimentel would most likely have made the start Monday night against the Giants that instead went to Jeff Locke.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.