Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli will be shut down for the rest of the year, manager Clint Hurdle tells reporters including MLB.com’s Adam Berry (via Twitter). Hurdle says there simply isn’t enough time for the backstop to make it back from his quad injury.
While the Bucs don’t need Cervelli to make a push for the postseason — that ship sailed a while back — it’s disappointing for his season to end this year. The veteran has been out since mid-August (apart from a one-game effort to return) and has missed out on a chance to work with the club’s young pitching staff down the stretch.
Cervelli’s absence also means he won’t have a chance to bounce back from his rough finish to the year. Over his final 17 games, Cervelli posted only a .132/.220/.151 slash with twenty strikeouts. Of course, Cervelli was much better at the plate over the full course of the season. But he has produced less than the league average with the bat over the past two years and tanked recently in the framing department (after previously ranking among the game’s best).
All said, the Pirates haven’t made out quite as well as they hoped when they inked Cervelli to a three-year, $31MM extension early in the 2016 season. While the team can still expect to get value out of the 31-year-old over the next two campaigns, he’ll need to boost his performance to warrant the $22MM he is still owed.