Pirates place Cervelli on concussion list

Field Level Media

May 26, 2019 at 8:08 pm.

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was placed on the 7-day concussion list Sunday after taking a bat to the facemask during Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Joc Pederson fouled a pitch in the fourth inning and the bat broke with the barrel connecting with Cervelli’s facemask. The catcher appeared dazed but initially stayed in the game.

Cervelli went up to bat in the bottom of the fourth but pulled away before a pitch was thrown. He walked back to the dugout and left the game.

This is the third straight season in which Cervelli has suffered a concussion, and he has a long history of dealing with them.

“You don’t see this as a league-wide challenge. Unfortunately, in Francisco’s case, it’s been Francisco more than anybody else — maybe as much as the rest of them bunched together,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters prior to Sunday’s game against the Dodgers. “Just the volume of hits, foul tips, a bat last night — there comes a point in time where there’s only so much you can do (to protect catchers) until you see it happening wide-range, where you’ve got 10 or 15 catchers experiencing similar things.

“Right now, he seems to be unfortunately an outlier with the volume and number of hits. It’s really been unfortunate.”

Cervelli, 33, is batting .193 with a homer and five RBIs in 34 games this season. Elias Diaz (.250 entering Sunday) will be the primary catcher during Cervelli’s absence.

Pittsburgh recalled catcher Jacob Stallings and infielder-outfielder Jose Osuna from Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates also designated utility man Jake Elmore for assignment.

Stallings is batting .273 with two homers and seven RBIs in 15 games for Indianapolis. The 29-year-old was 3-for-11 in four April games with Pittsburgh.

Osuna, 26, batted .268 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 19 games for Indianapolis.

Elmore, 31, was 1-for-20 in 11 games for the Pirates.