Tuesday, August 05, 2014

McCutchen’s injury, likely stay on disabled list is bad timing for Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen throws his bat away after getting walked by Arizona Diamondbacks' Trevor Cahill during the third inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
The question isn’t if Pirates star center fielder Andrew McCutchen is seriously injured. You saw him grab his left side in pain after his at-bat in the eighth inning Sunday in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. You watched him need help to make it off the field and down the dugout steps. The team almost certainly will place him on the 15-day disabled list today, seriously complicating its chances of making it to baseball’s postseason for a second consecutive year.
What’s unknown is how long McCutchen will be out. I’m not a doctor, but it looked as if he has a serious oblique injury. A player can miss a month — maybe more — with such an injury. The torso is that crucial to a hitter because of the torque necessary to swing a bat.
McCutchen was hit in the back Saturday night by a fastball from Arizona pitcher Randall Delgado in retaliation for the Pirates’ Ernesto Frieri hitting Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt Friday night, but there’s no reason to believe that led to McCutchen’s injury Sunday. He had three at-bats earlier in the game without a problem.
This will be McCutchen’s first time on the disabled list. He played in at least 154 games in each of his first four full seasons in the big leagues. His injury could not have happened at a worse time for the Pirates, who are 1½ games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central Division and a half-game out of the second wild-card slot. For sure, the team still will show up tonight to play the Miami Marlins at PNC Park. It won’t forfeit its remaining 51 games. But it’s hard to imagine a club that already was dealing with the uncertain status of presumptive staff ace Gerrit Cole and the ongoing woes of third baseman Pedro Alvarez winning the division or grabbing a wild-card spot without McCutchen for a long period of time. He isn’t just the Pirates’ most valuable player. He was well on his way to being the National League MVP for a second consecutive season. He was hitting .311 with 17 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .947 OPS.
How do you replace that production?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2014/08/04/Pirates-McCutchen-expected-to-be-place-on-15-day-disabled-list/stories/201408040153#ixzz39WDg814t

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