After being hit by a pitch on Thursday, Pirates catcher Luke Maile suffered a fractured right index finger that required surgical repair, according to team press release. Maile underwent the procedure yesterday and will be kept out of baseball activities for the next 10-12 weeks, effectively ending his 2020 season.
Maile signed a one-year split contract with the Pirates last December, and the unfortunate injury news will now keep the 29-year-old backstop from participating in what would have been his sixth big league season. Maile has a .198/.252/.304 career slash line over 657 plate appearances with the Rays and Blue Jays, and was non-tendered by Toronto over the offseason. Despite his lack of offense, Maile has been a pretty solid defensive catcher, and he had been tabbed as the top backup choice behind Jacob Stallings in Pittsburgh.
Stallings and John Ryan Murphy were the only other catchers with the Bucs’ initial Summer Camp player pool, so Murphy is now the favorite for backup duty. Like Murphy, Andrew Susac is also in the organization on a minor league deal, and Rule 5 pick Christian Kelley is on hand for further depth. With Maile now out of the picture, it seems likely the Pirates will be on the lookout for any veteran catchers who become available as teams make roster cuts in the coming days.