PITTSBURGH — The Pirates will shut catcher Francisco Cervelli down for the remainder of the 2017 season, manager Clint Hurdle announced on Monday.
“We mapped out the calendar and we’ve just come to the conclusion that we ran out of days for us to feasibly and realistically push to play,” Hurdle said.
Cervelli hasn’t played since Aug. 25 with left quadriceps irritation. Cervelli had been hitting for quite some time, but had still been dealing with some discomfort while crouching in a catching position and had yet to run the bases.
“He’s worked as hard as he can to get to the point he is today,” Hurdle said. “The reality of it is that we’ve run out of time.”
Cervelli will finish the season having played just 81 games. He also spent time on the disabled list with a concussion, wrist inflammation and had an ongoing sinus issues that caused him to miss some time.
He came to the Pirates with an injury-prone reputation from his time with the New York Yankees, but Cervelli had been mostly reliable during his time in Pittsburgh. He played 101 games in 2016 and 130 in 2015. He played more than 81 games in a season just once in New York, when he played 93 in 2010.
Cervelli finished the season with 0.9 WAR, his lowest total since 2013. Offensively, he had a .249/.342/.370 line with a 93 wRC+, his lowest since a 92 in 2010. Hurdle acknowledged the difficulties of a player trying to justify a three-year, $31-million contract while spending so much time injured, but said he thought Cervelli was in a good place, mentally.
He also said that Cervelli has been an engaged member of the team despite his injury and will continue to be.
“He’s watching the young pitchers work. He’s spending time with Diaz. He’s working and spending some time with the young pitchers in the bullpen. There’s some things that are going to be done over the winter and into next season that he’s helping with.
“We need to get him in a position now to just have a really good recovery this offseason. He’s in a good place and frame of mind, though.”