The Pirates’ lineup got a little lighter Monday, with both Ryan Doumit and Steve Pearce joining Pedro Alvarez (quad) on the disabled list.
Doumit suffered a sprained left ankle when Carlos Pena slid into him at home plate in Sunday’s game aganist the Cubs.
Pearce, who had been getting most of the starts at third base with Alvarez on the shelf, left Saturday’s game with a sore calf.
When the Pirates chose not to replace Pearce before Sunday’s game, they were left with no real alternative but to bat Brandon Wood and Ronny Cedeno with the tying run on base in the ninth inning Sunday against Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. Of course, they ended up losing that one. The miracle of the game was that Wood actually hit a weak groundout instead of striking out.
With Doumit out, the Pirates will turn to Dusty Brown as the backup catcher. Chris Snyder will get more playing time behind the plate.
Pearce’s replacement on the roster is infielder Josh Harrison. A 5-foot-8 utilityman, he’ll make his major league debut after hitting .321/.361/.455 in 134 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.