Colin Moran left in the first inning of today’s 3-2 Pirates loss to the Cubs, as Moran experienced some left groin discomfort while making a play at first base. Moran snagged a line drive and then dove at the bag in an attempt to double Willson Contreras off of first base. Moran is officially day-to-day, and an injured-list placement would cost the Pirates their top offensive performer of the last two seasons.
Moran is hitting .297/.352/.468 with four home runs thus far in 2021. Given the forgettable state of his hard-hit ball numbers, it’s safe to say Moran has benefited greatly from his .392 BABIP, though he has been an above-average hitter (103 wRC+, 104 OPS+) since coming to Pittsburgh prior to the 2018 season. Moran has seen almost all of the action at first base this season, and Todd Frazier is probably the likeliest candidate to fill in should Moran indeed require an IL stint.
More from the NL Central…
- The Brewers have been hit hard by injuries this season but they’re finally starting to get some better health news. Catcher Manny Pina (left toe fracture) returned to the lineup today after being sidelined since April 27, while southpaw Brett Anderson (right hamstring strain) is expected to start on Sunday for his first action since April 23. Manager Craig Counsell also told MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince and other reporters that Corbin Burnes will throw a bullpen session on Monday and in all likelihood return to the rotation during the Brewers’ upcoming homestand against the Cardinals and Braves. Burnes was placed on the IL for unspecified reasons on April 29 but the ace looks to make a fairly quick resumption of a possible Cy Young Award-caliber season. Over 29 1/3 innings, Burnes has a 1.53 ERA and 49 strikeouts, and he has yet to issue a walk.
- Javier Baez also left today’s Pirates/Cubs game in the seventh inning due to lower back tightness, though it was a “precautionary” removal, as Cubs manager David Ross told NBC Sports Chicago’s Tim Stebbins and other reporters. “I saw him moving a little bit stiff out there…He just wasn’t moving well, and it doesn’t make sense to push him there,” Ross said. Baez reported some improvement with his back even after the game ended, though since the Cubs aren’t playing on Monday, it wouldn’t be surprising if Baez is rested on Sunday to give him some extra recovery time.
- The Cardinals recorded a 9-8 victory over the Rockies today, despite a very shaky outing from Carlos Martinez that saw the starter allow five runs on six hits and five walks over five innings pitched. After the game, Martinez told Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat (all Twitter links) and other reporters that he was pitching on a twisted ankle. Manager Mike Shildt said trainers tested Martinez prior to the game and gave him the green light to make the start, and Martinez believes he’ll be ready for his next scheduled start. The injury occurred during Friday’s game, Martinez said, as he hurt his ankle while standing on the dugout steps to high-five Jack Flaherty after Flaherty hit a home run.