Francisco Cervelli Injury: Updates on Pirates Catcher's Hand and Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Pittsburgh Pirates' Francisco Cervelli walks through the dugout prior to a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday, April 22, 2016, in Phoenix.  The Pirates defeated the Diamondbacks 8-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking the hamate bone in his left hand. 

Continue for updates.

Cervelli Can Resume Full Baseball Activities in 4-6 Weeks

Saturday, June 11

According to the team's official Twitter account, Cervelli underwent surgery Saturday. 

Cervelli had the unenviable task of replacing Russell Martin last year. Not only was Martin a fan favorite in the Steel City, but FanGraphs also ranked him third among all catchers in WAR (5.0) in 2014.

Swapping Martin with Cervelli was a somewhat odd move at the time since Cervelli had never caught for a full season. Ninety-three games was his previous career high.

Then the 30-year-old posted an impressive .295 batting average with seven home runs and 43 runs batted in, and according to Baseball Prospectus, he was also the second-best defensive catcher in MLB. Only Buster Posey (5.7) finished with a higher WAR on FanGraphs at the position than Cervelli (3.8), who narrowly edged out Martin (3.5).

Now it will be up to Chris Stewart to replace Cervelli behind the plate. Stewart appeared in 107 games during his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, batting .292 with a .336 slugging percentage. He's a more than serviceable backup until Cervelli returns.

Still, the Pirates will hope their starting catcher isn't out longer than the estimated timetable. The margins will be slim in the National League Central, particularly among those fighting for the wild card. Pittsburgh can't afford to be without Cervelli for a major stretch of time.

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