Report: McCutchen could miss 3-to-4 weeks with 'serious' oblique injury

Aug 4, 5:47 PM

Andrew McCutchen could miss up to a month of action with a serious oblique injury, a source tells Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to place the 2013 National League MVP on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. An initial timetable for recovery was placed at three-to-four weeks, according to the report.

McCutchen suffered the injury in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after reaching over the outer half of the plate to make contact with a curveball offering from Brad Ziegler. The 27-year-old was removed from the contest after grabbing his left side following the at-bat.

It's unclear what effect, if any, the events of Saturday night had on McCutchen's injury. 

The Pirates center fielder was plunked in the back by Diamondbacks reliever Randall Delgado in the ninth inning in what appeared to be an act of retaliation after Paul Goldschmidt was beaned the night before. Goldschmidt suffered a broken left hand and is likely done for the season.

Losing McCutchen for a month would be a major blow to a Pirates team sitting just 1 1/2 games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

McCutchen is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season, pacing NL outfielders with a .411 on-base percentage and 13.9 percent walk rate. He posted 17 homers, 17 steals and .536 slugging rate through 109 games this season.

Since entering the league in 2009, the Pirates are 11-14 without McCutchen in the lineup. Starling Marte, currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list, will likely replace McCutchen in center field. The Pirates left fielder is expected to return to the club Tuesday at home against Miami.

Feature photo courtesy of Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 19, 3:38 PM

Pirates reinstate McCutchen from DL

Aug 19, 3:38 PM

The Pittsburgh Pirates reinstated outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the 15-day disabled list, the team announced Tuesday.

The reigning MVP is batting third in the order and playing center Tuesday versus the Atlanta Braves. He suffered a fractured rib earlier this month.

With the Pirates two games back of the second NL wild-card spot, McCutchen's offense should provide a spark. The three-time All-Star is hitting .311/.411/.536 with 17 home runs and 17 stolen bases through 109 games this season.

Feature photo courtesy of Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 18, 4:54 PM

Pirates' McCutchen says he's 'good to go'

Aug 18, 4:54 PM

The Pittsburgh Pirates expect outfielder Andrew McCutchen to rejoin the team Tuesday, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

Manager Clint Hurdle told reporters that although he's optimistic McCutchen is ready to return, the club has yet to make a final determination. 

McCutchen was spotted taking batting practice before Monday's series opener against Atlanta, another promising sign he's recovering well from a fractured rib suffered earlier this month.

Following a pain-free session of pregame hitting, McCutchen declared himself "good to go."

Said the Pirates center fielder: "If something’s going to be hurt, I’d feel it already," he said, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "That’s not an issue. I know, just from the first swing, if I’m going to be good or not. I felt fine the whole time."

McCutchen hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 3, and his club is quickly losing ground in the National League Central race in his absence.

Pittsburgh has lost five straight games and eight of 13 since McCutchen hit the DL, placing them 5 1/2 back of division-leading Milwaukee.

McCutchen's return couldn't come at a more critical time for the Pirates, who begin a three-game set at home against Atlanta on Monday. The two clubs are both 1 1/2 games out of the NL's second wild-card spot.

Aug 11, 5:24 PM

Pirates place Andrew McCutchen on 15-day DL

Aug 11, 5:24 PM

The Pittsburgh Pirates conceded Monday that injured outfielder Andrew McCutchen will require a stint on the disabled list to nurse his fractured rib, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.

The team initially hoped McCutchen would be able to avoid an extended absence, as the 27-year-old took swings on Friday and played catch from 90 feet with no apparent issues.

McCutchen's stint on the disabled list is retroactive to Aug. 4, as the reigning NL MVP hasn't appeared in a game since experiencing discomfort in his ribs last Sunday.

A three-time All-Star, McCutchen is hitting .311/.411/.536 (167 OPS+) with 17 home runs and 17 stolen bases through 109 games this season.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Charles LeClaire

Aug 9, 10:37 PM

Pirates' McCutchen takes swings, throws from 90 feet

Aug 9, 10:37 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is still working towards avoiding a stint on the disabled list, according to manager Clint Hurdle.

McCutchen also took swings Friday, which means his body responded well to the session.

The reigning National League MVP is battling through a fractured rib and hasn't suited up since Aug. 3. The team is 3-2 since he sustained the injury, but his return to action is vital to the team's extended playoff push. 

McCutchen's absence from the lineup against division leaders Detroit and Washington next week could certainly prove costly.

Aug 8, 7:57 PM

Pirates still mulling McCutchen DL decision

Aug 8, 7:57 PM

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still mulling a potential roster move regarding reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen.

McCutchen, who is set to miss his fourth consecutive game since suffering a fractured rib, is without a doubt the club's best player and an indispensable element in Pittsburgh's playoff push.

The Pirates are 2-1 since McCutchen went down with the injury heading into a three-game set with the lowly San Diego Padres. The Bucs have a daunting schedule next week, however, when they square off in an interleague series with the Detroit Tigers and then head to Washington for three games against the Nationals.

The outfielder is slashing .311/.411/.536 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs through 109 games.

Aug 5, 3:45 PM

Report: Andrew McCutchen has fractured rib, not oblique strain; still not on DL

Aug 5, 3:45 PM

If you've been waiting to see the official news that Pittsburgh Pirates superstar and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen has been placed on the disabled list, you may have to wait a while longer.

McCutchen - who has an avulsion fracture of a rib, not an oblique strain as originally reported - has not been placed on the disabled list yet out of optimism:

It's unclear how this type of injury differs from an oblique strain in terms of recovery time, but it sure makes Randall Delgado look like a more likely culprit here. McCutchen, for what it's worth, called this a better diagnosis than the oblique injury would have been.

Hopefully for the Pirates, this means their star will avoid the disabled list altogether, and they'll only miss out on his ridiculous .311/.411/.536 batting line for a handful of games. Should he get back quickly and help push the Pirates to a playoff berth, a second MVP award isn't out of the question.

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/Rick Scuteri

Aug 4, 1:15 PM

Pirates' McCutchen to be examined Monday amid discomfort in left side

Aug 4, 1:15 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates was forced from Sunday's game after discomfort surfaced in his left side during his eighth-inning at-bat, and the reigning Most Valuable Player will undergo further examination Monday to determine the extent of the injury, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.

McCutchen said after Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks that he hopes his soreness is not connected to the errant fastball from Randall Delgado that struck him in the spine the night before.

"I hope not, but it did hit me right in the spine," McCutchen said of the fastball ostensibly delivered as payback for Ernesto Frieri having fractured Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt's left hand the night before. "So it was tight, stiff a little bit. And I had to get a little bit of [pregame] treatment.

The 27-year-old was completely symptom-free before Sunday's game, but was beset by discomfort as he sent a sacrifice fly to left field in the eighth inning and was so uncomfortable after the game that he "needed help from someone else to just zip up the travel bag," Singer notes.

"But I went through my warmups fine, no issues, hitting and all that. It wasn't a major issue besides being bruised. But the side has never been a problem ever in my life, so I've never had to deal with this, so who knows."

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Rick Scuteri

Aug 3, 7:08 PM

McCutchen leaves with side discomfort

Aug 3, 7:08 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday afternoon's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth inning after appearing to tweak something following a sacrifice fly. 

McCutchen was helped down the dugout steps in pain, and the team announced shortly after that the injury was officially listed as left side discomfort

It's been a painful weekend for McCutchen against the Diamondbacks. He was also hit with a 95 miles per hour fastball Saturday night. 

Aug 3, 6:30 PM

Andrew McCutchen leaves game vs. Diamondbacks with injury

Aug 3, 6:30 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth inning after appearing to injure himself on a sacrifice fly. 

The injury comes a day after McCutchen was hit by a 95 miles per hour fastball from Randall Delgado in the ninth inning of Saturday's game.