UPDATE: A.J. Burnett has been placed on the disabled list with a right calf strain.
4:49 PM: Pittsburgh has already lost Wandy Rodriguez to the disabled list with a forearm injury and now the Pirates will be without A.J. Burnett for at least one turn in the rotation because of a calf injury.
Burnett has been scratched from his scheduled start Friday against the Dodgers and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the injury could require a disabled list stint. Gerrit Cole is filling in for Rodriguez and the Pirates have already called up Charlie Morton to start tonight, so their rotation depth is definitely being tested.
Burnett has a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts this season and a 3.39 ERA in 45 total starts since joining the Pirates last year, re-emerging as a top-of-the-rotation starter after three disappointing years with the Yankees.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.